After weeks apart, feline travels 6 miles to reunite with his owner
Oliphant recently surrendered a cat to the Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire, and after a series of unfortunate events, got reunited with the cat she left behind.
Oliphant, who is in her 80s, had begun feeding a stray cat late last summer.
“He was so skinny,” Oliphant said. “I kept putting food out for him because I knew he wasn't being fed.”
Oliphant grew fond of the cat. She eventually named him Wollie, a take on her husband's nickname, Oli.
In September, Oli had a debilitating stroke and it became more and more difficult for Oliphant to take care of them both.
After some complaints from neighbors about Wollie fighting with other neighborhood cats, Oliphant made the difficult decision in June to bring Wollie to the Animal Rescue League.
“I wanted Wollie to find a home where he would be taken care of,” she said.
But Wollie's absence proved to be difficult for Oliphant.
“I was missing him, and my daughter knew how much I missed him,” Oliphant said.
Laura Montenegro, director of events and communications for the Animal Rescue League, knew that Oliphant was having second thoughts.
“She was feeling awful, that she'd made a mistake and there was nothing she could do,” said Montenegro.
But unbeknownst to her, Oliphant's daughter, Charlene Hunter, began adoption proceedings two weeks later in order to get Wollie back where he belonged.
With papers signed and Wollie loaded into a zippered carrier, Hunter was ready to take him back to her mother.
But a sudden crack of thunder caused Wollie to push his way out of the crate and run off down the road.
Rescue League staff, as well as Hunter and her husband David, searched for Wollie for several days, and Oliphant was filled in on what had happened.
On the fourth day, as Oliphant returned home from the store, she said she saw a black cat in the woods, six miles from the Rescue League and heading right toward her driveway.
Oliphant, who had prayed for Wollie's safe return, couldn't believe he had ended up right back where he started.
“I didn't believe it,” she said, “I thought he'd be run over.”
Montenegro agreed. “This should've been a story of a cat getting hit by a car,” she said.
Oliphant pulled over and began calling to the cat, and he responded immediately.
“He was so weak and tired, but he answered me, he knew my voice,” Oliphant said. “He knew exactly where he was going.”
No matter what challenges arise in her home, Oliphant said she is keeping Wollie for good.
“He needs to be here. He worked so hard to get back,” she said. “I knew he was a good cat from day one.”
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