Jimmy has always been a naughty cat. One of his favorite pastimes was going outside and wandering around the neighborhood around his house, until one day he didn’t return.
Jimmy’s parents were never concerned about his playing outside since he was a seasoned player who rarely ventured far. He enjoyed hanging out in the driveway, going on walks with his family and dog, and visiting the neighbors for snacks.
He likes to sneak into parked automobiles via open windows and stay for a time before returning to his house and meowing to be let back in.
Jimmy’s mother, Sue Zelitsky, told The Dodo, “He used to go in and out every day but always came back, except that one night.”
Jimmy was 13 years old when Zelitsky’s husband let him outdoors to play for a time on Sept. 13, 2014. When it was time for him to return inside, they yelled Jimmy’s name again and searched every possible location – but Jimmy never returned.
Jimmy’s family was absolutely devastated, and put up missing cat flyers all around their neighborhood. Zelitsky would call out for Jimmy every time she took the family dog for a walk, just in case he might be somewhere nearby. They didn’t want to lose hope, but after a while, the family assumed that Jimmy was probably never coming home.
“After the huge March blizzard, he was found around 10 miles from our house and brought in to the West Milford Animal Shelter,” Zelitsky said. “I went to visit him after some exchanging of images and other physical characteristics.”
Zelitsky grabbed a few items she believed Jimmy would remember before heading to the shelter with her neighbor, whom Jimmy adored. The employees at the shelter greeted them warmly and took them back to view the lost cat, which Zelitsky recognized right away as Jimmy.
“As soon as we opened the cage I asked him, ‘Jim, is that you bud?’ And he walked over and head-butted me and I just started crying,” Zelitsky said.
Zelitsky later brought her husband in to see Jimmy too, and Jimmy recognized and greeted him just as lovingly. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that this was Jimmy, and that somehow, he had finally found his way home.
Jimmy is now 15 years old and overjoyed to be reunited with his family. The family dog immediately recognized him and welcomed him home, as did the two new kittens the family had acquired while Jimmy was abroad. Everyone is surprised that Jimmy was discovered, and the family is overjoyed to have him back in their life.
“We’re ecstatic,” Zelitsky said. “It’s the most incredible story I’ve ever heard, and it’s almost too fantastic to be true… but it is!”