Jimmy the cat has always been a rogue. One of his favorite things to do was walk outside and explore around the neighborhood around his house — until one day he didn’t return.
Jimmy’s parents were never concerned about his playing outside because he was a seasoned player who seldom traveled far. He loved to hang out in the driveway, go on walks with his family and the dog, and visit the neighbors for snacks. He likes to sneak inside parked automobiles via open windows and linger around for a bit before returning to his house and meowing to come inside.
“He used to come in and out every day but always came back, until that one night,” Jimmy’s mother, Sue Zelitsky, told The Dodo.
Jimmy was 13 years old when Zelitsky’s husband allowed him out to play. When it was time for him to return inside, they yelled his name again and searched wherever they could — but Jimmy never returned.
Jimmy’s family was upset, and they posted missing cat ads all over their area. Every time Zelitsky took the family dog for a walk, she would scream out for Jimmy, just in case he was close. They didn’t want to give up hope, but after a while, the family came to believe Jimmy was gone.
Two and a half years later, Zelitsky was on Facebook when she came across a post from the West Milford Animal Shelter about a stray cat who’d been removed off the streets — and he looked eerily similar to Jimmy.
Zelitsky reacted on the ad right away, attempting to figure out whether the lost cat was truly her beloved Jimmy. After exchanging messages with the shelter, the evidence piled up that Jimmy had finally been discovered.
“He was rescued about ten miles from our house after the big March blizzard and brought in to the West Milford Animal Shelter,” Zelitsky explained. “I went to visit him after some exchanging of images and other physical characteristics.”
Zelitsky nervously grabbed a few items she believed Jimmy may remember before heading to the shelter with her neighbor, whom Jimmy also adored. The shelter workers greeted them and took them back to view the lost cat — and as soon as Zelitsky saw him, she knew it was Jimmy.
“‘Jim, is that you bud?’ I questioned as soon as we unlocked the cage. And then he went over to me and headbutted me, and I burst into tears “According to Zelitsky.
Later, Zelitsky brought her husband in to visit Jimmy, and Jimmy recognized and greeted him in the same affectionate manner. There was no question in anyone’s mind that this was Jimmy, and that he had found his way back home.