Having a pet that is dear to your heart and then losing it without a clue can be devastating. Being able to love is nothing when compared to the love that is returned from your pet. Some humans develop a larger than life relationship with their beloved pet, and consider them to be part of their family. As years go by, the gratitude those pets return only makes the bond stronger. Throughout history, there have been several reported cases where pets have found their way back home after being lost for months or even years. Today, we are going to take a look at some of the stories of those courageous animals, who managed to trek for hundreds of miles in search of their beloved owners.
#10. Nigel the parrot
Parrots are extremely affectionate creatures. If their owner does not pay them attention, they will make loud noises until they receive some love. This specific characteristic makes them good companions to humans. Darren Chick, a British man living in California, had a beloved parrot named Nigel. The bird was so close to him that it even spoke using a British accent. Unfortunately, in 2010, a cage mishap caused Nigel to fly away. However, four years later, a man took Nigel to a veterinarian to have him checked. While scanning his micro chip, the vet discovered that Nigel was reported lost four years prior, and contacted Darren. When Darren came to pick up his beloved parrot, he recognized that Nigel was no longer speaking with a British accent but rather a Spanish accent; which he somehow learned during the four years he went missing.
After a bit of research, Darren found that Nigel had been taken care of by a family. Shortly after he went missing, a man found Nigel and sold him for $400 at a yard sale. The Smith family had purchased Nigel, and soon after that, he developed a very special bond with the 86 year old grandfather in the family. Ruben Hernandez, 86, had just lost his wife and Nigel was someone who he shared his sorrows with. Hernandez renamed Nigel as Morgan and the two formed a strong bond with each other. However, Nigel’s miraculous return to Darren after four years was all over the news. Liza Smith, Ruben’s granddaughter, saw the news and decided to get in touch with Darren. She explained the circumstances surrounding the parrot and how he ended up speaking Spanish. Touched by Hernandez’s story, Darren returned Nigel back to the Smith family.
#9. Woosie the cat
Our furry friends have many favorable traits. From their ease of care to their adorable antics, cats do make great companions. Helen and Phillip Johns from Cornwall, England, had a four legged companion but were disheartened when he went missing in 2011. The seven year-old cat, Woosie, had disappeared out of the blue and enough time had went by that they tried to get accustomed to the fact that he would never return.
Woosie had wandered a full 31 miles (50 kms) away and managed to arrive at Ginsters pasty factory. The workers at the factory found Woosie to be extremely adorable and decided to adopt him as a company pet. They renamed him George and spoiled him with bits of sausage and assorted meats that are normally topped on the pies. A few months went by before the workers of Ginsters decided that it was time for George to visit the vet. They assumed that he was a stray but were surprised when the vet scanned and discovered a microchip. After finding out that George was in fact Woosie, who went missing, the workers got in touch with Phillip and Helen and happily reunited them with their now-chubby cat.
#8. Corky the dog
Dogs are popular pets because they are playful, friendly and loyal. Their loyalty is their charm and fame. When Corky, a one year old scruffy little terrier mix, escaped from his kennel in the backyard of his home in Texas, it was a total loss for the Montez family. Seven years later, a man called Animal Control and reported seeing two little stray dogs wandering together. Animal control workers examined the dogs and found that one of them was microchipped.After contacting the Montez family, they learned that he had been missing for years and reunited Corky with his family.
While he was lost, Corky had become best friends with a younger one eyed dog. The Montez family decided to adopt Corky’s best friend and named him Captain. After the adoption, the family found Corky to be taking care of Captain, like a big brother does. Animal Control workers believe that Captain might not have survived without Corky’s help since he had trouble navigating with just one eye.
#7. Charlie the cat
Unlike dogs, cats domesticated themselves. In 2006, in Hampshire, England, Jo and Ade Haigh began worrying when their cat Charlie did not return home for the night. The couple frantically searched for their dear cat all over town for several days but had no luck finding him. When it appeared that Charlie would never return home, the couple posted signs, as they had to move to a new town. Six years after Charlie was lost, life took a turn for Mr. and Mrs. Haigh when they became parents to twins. In 2012, Jo’s mother was looking to buy a new house and Jo decided to take her mother to look at a property in the old neighborhood where Charlie went missing.
As Jo and her mother were walking around the neighborhood, she spotted a cat that looked exactly like Charlie. She scooped up the cat and knocked on the neighbors door to find out about the cat. The neighbor confirmed that the cat was a stray that he occasionally takes care of but didn’t know much more about him. Charlie was taken to a vet and his microchip was scanned. The vet confirmed that it was indeed Charlie. It turns out that Charlie was planning to return home but decided to take a vacation first. Today, he is strictly an indoor cat.
#6. Manuela the tortoise
In 1982, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a tortoise named Manuela went missing. The Almeida family was renovating their home when one of the workers left the door open for a long period of time. Manuela’s owners believed that she took the opportunity to escape. Three decades later, in 2013, the Almeida children were all grown up and Leonel, their father, had passed away. The children were cleaning his house and opened a storeroom that their dad normally kept chained. It was filled with his collection of record players, radios, televisions, and other electronics that he would find on the side of the road and claim that he would fix one day.
When the children brought the piles of trash out, to their astonishment, they discovered that Manuela was inside one of the cardboard boxes. They rushed her to the vet, where he stated that the red-footed tortoise can survive for two to three years without eating. Since the flooring in the house was infested with termites, the doctors theorized that Manuela could have survived by eating the bugs whenever she got the chance. A miracle or a happy accident, Manuela once again joined the family and she remained with the family for the remainder of her life.
#5. Fuzzy the cat
In 2010, Michelle Wright of Barrington, New Hampshire, asked her friend to pet sit her cat, Fuzzy. Fuzzy was young and active at that time, and had to be kept inside as a result. The pet sitter however, decided to nod off for a few minutes, which Fuzzy took advantage of. When Michelle returned, Fuzzy was gone and a search of the neighborhood yielded no results. Convinced that he was lost forever, Michelle eventually stopped searching. Years later, Michelle decided to adopt another furry friend. When she arrived at a local pet store nearby and looked through the section of cats they had for sale, she was completely surprised to see a cat that was the spitting image of Fuzzy.
When she asked one of the workers where the cat had come from, she learned that the cat had been picked up from the street. The vet also suggested that the cat was about four years old, similar to what Fuzzy would have been. Michelle brought in photographs of Fuzzy, including a unique birthmark on the pad of his paw, which made the local adoption center believe Michelle’s story. After paying a small adoption fee, Michelle was able to bring Fuzzy back home, but this time, she had a microchip implanted, just in case he decided to take another stroll through the neighborhood.
#4. Opie the horse
Horses are not simply big dogs that you can ride. They are gentle creatures but require patience, understanding and intuition to have as them as long term pets. Each horse has its own personality and endearing quirks. In 2002, a San Antonio, Texas woman named Michelle Pool was admitted to the hospital to have surgery on her back. Since pet sitters can be extremely expensive, especially for an animal such as a horse, she asked her father to watch over Opie while she was recovering.
Opie stayed enclosed by a wire fence in Michelle’s father’s pasture, since he did not have a stable. Someone saw this as an opportunity to snatch the horse, so they snapped the fence in the middle of the night and took Opie. Opie was a Saddlebred Pinto, a breed that is worth anywhere from $1,200 to as much as $15,000. Michelle was saddened by her loss and submitted a case to an organization called Stolen Horse International. Almost a decade later, Michelle received a phone call that they had found her horse. He was allegedly found by a pastor in Dayton, Texas who saw it roaming around the side of the road and fortunately happened to have an empty horse trailer available to bring her home.
Instead of reporting the lost horse to the authorities, he tried to sell the horse on a classified
site. A woman shopping realized that the horse’s image had popped up on a list of stolen horses. The print on Opie’s body was so unique that it clearly distinguished him from the rest of them. The woman reported her suspicion to the Dayton Sheriff’s Department, who hired a group of contract cowboys to raid the house of the pastor. Opie was recovered and reunited with Michelle, however, authorities did not have enough evidence to convict the pastor for theft.
#3. Suika the cat
On March 11, 2011, when a tsunami hit the Iwate Prefecture in Japan, a cat named Suika was swept away along with the waves. Her owners, Takeo and Kazuko Yamagishi, had to evacuate immediately and couldn’t find Suika in time. When things settled and they returned home, Suika was nowhere to be found. The couple searched for her for almost three months, while their town was recovering from the tsunami. They, however, had no luck and eventually gave up hope.
Three years later, a couple of hikers noticed a cat curled up in the high branches of a tree. After getting along with the cat, they noticed that her collar had a charm with the name and phone number of the owners. The rest is history, as the hikers took Suika back to her home and reunited her with her beloved owners.
#2. Reckless the dog
In 2012, Chuck and Elicia James lived in New Jersey during the devastating Hurricane Sandy. Their Terrier Pitbull mix named Reckless was able to somehow escape the chaos. However, Chuck and Elicia were unaware of the fact that their dog had managed to escape and believed that they would never see him again. A year and half later, the couple were finally ready to move on and adopt a new dog. When they visited a local animal shelter, in hopes of finding a replacement for Reckless, they noticed that Reckless was there, waiting for them all this time.
According to Chuck, Reckless “jumped three feet in the air” when he saw them. Reckless was renamed Lucas by the shelter after they rescued him. The telltale scar Reckless had on his face was fair enough for them to confirm that he was their dog. Adding to it, the joy that Reckless himself had when he saw his owners was the best testimonial anyone could ever ask for.
#1. Willow the cat
For five years, Jamie and Chris Squires assumed that Willow, their cat who escaped from her home in 2006, would come back some day. Jamie and Chris Squires lived in Boulder, Colorado, and they concluded that when contractors left the door open during renovations, Willow must have managed to make her into the Rocky Mountains. The couple was extremely surprised when they received a call that claimed Willow had been found in New York City. The feline was found walking in the streets of Manhattan and was rescued by Animal Control. Upon scanning him, they realized that he was reported missing.
Michael Bloomberg, the then-mayor of New York City said “Cats reputedly have nine lives, and he clearly wanted to spend at least one of them in New York City”. Willow became an overnight cat celebrity when ‘The Today Show’ offered to pay for the Squires family’s flight to New York in exchange for an exclusive on the story.