A calico cat, named Willow, who disappeared from a home near the Rocky Mountains five years ago, was found Wednesday on a Manhattan street and will soon be returned to a family in which two of the three kids and one of the two dogs may remember her.
How she got to New York, more than 1,600 miles away, and the kind of life she lived in the city are mysteries. But thanks to a microchip implanted when she was a kitten, Willow will be reunited in Colorado with her owners, who had long ago given up hope.
“To be honest, there are tons of coyotes around here, and owls,” said Jamie Squires, of Boulder. “She was just a little thing, five and a half pounds. We put out the ‘Lost Cat’ posters and the Craigslist thing, but we actually thought she’d been eaten by coyotes.”
Squires and her husband, Chris, were “shocked and astounded” when they got a call Wednesday from Animal Care & Control, which runs New York City’s animal rescue and shelter system. Willow had been found on East 20th Street by a man who took her to a shelter.
Squires said Willow escaped in late 2006 or early 2007 when contractors left a door open during a home renovation.
Since then, the family had moved about 10 miles from Broomfield to Boulder, but it kept its address current with the microchip company.
She said Willow, who now weighs 7 pounds, is healthy and well-mannered and probably has not spent her life on the mean streets of Manhattan. But there are no clues about her trip east or anything else in the five years she’s been missing.