If cats could write stories, a Kelowna tabby would no doubt tell a good one.
For two years Scott Falkingham’s best friend was missing. Although unfamiliar with the great outdoors, the once-content house cat had adopted a life in the wild, and somehow survived, kilometers from where she went missing.
River was an indoor cat, living a happy life in Falkingham’s Kelowna Mission area home when a storm frightened her so badly she ran out the front door.
The Kelowna man never gave up on his furry buddy, continually searching for her over the years.
Then in January of this year, to his disbelief, he received a call from AlleyCats Alliance asking if he once had a cat.
River had made her way to Joe Rich and was living as a barn cat. The owners of the barn had spent more than a year trying to gain her trust, in order to pick her up and take her to a veterinarian.
Finally, the Joe Rich family managed to coax River from hiding and take her to Kelowna Vet, to see if she needed to be spayed. There, they discovered River had been spayed and had a tattoo. The tattoo was traced back to the non-profit AlleyCats, which had originally rescued River and adopted her out to Falkingham.
Theresa Nolet of AlleyCats said without that identifying tattoo, Falkingham would never have been reunited with his best friend.
“Scott was overjoyed to see her again, and was so thankful of the family that looked after her for the last year,” Nolet said. “Although the family had formed an attachment to River, they were happy to reunite her with her original owner.”
River has since returned home and apparently acts as if her two years of wild adventures never happened.
Nolet explained that this story serves as an excellent reminder to microchip or tattoo your pets in case they ever take off on a journey of their own.