I’ve asked my cat, Ju-Ju Bee, so many times to tell me what she did when she was away, but she’s really not chatty that way …

Ju-Ju Bee disappeared from our backyard on June 20. She is an indoor/outdoor cat. We put up signs, we notified the vets and shelters. In our neighborhood everyone knows she’s ours so they would have brought her home to us. We know she went much further afield, but ‘how?’ is the big question.

We had a construction project nearby so maybe she got into that and met someone who didn’t know us. Because when we were alerted that Ju-Ju Bee had been found, we learned that she was 21 miles away from our house! There are major roads including a highway and a freeway between us and the place she was found – how did she get there? She was just too far away to find her way back to us on her own. She must have been taken there by vehicle – it’s too improbable for an animal to go that far in those circumstances. We will never know how she got more than 20 miles away from us, but we are so happy to have her back.

I still catch myself staring at her in disbelief – after a while you think something bad has happened – and I can’t believe she is back with us. We had tried so many efforts – signs, calls, walking and calling, searching neighbors’ back yards and garages – and so many people were looking for her in this area, it took me half a day to track everyone down and tell them she had been returned to us. But without the microchip and the kindness of a stranger, I fully believe Ju-Ju Bee never would have made it home. And, a little thinner but perfectly fine, she has picked up life like she was never gone. Though I’d like to think she’ll stay a little closer to home now.

Here she is lying in the middle of my full laundry basket and I’m gritting my teeth, saying, ‘Remember, you wanted her back …’ I was cross-eyed when she brought me another lizard and I had to remind myself, ‘You wished she was right here giving you lizards …’ I’ve had lots of cats and Ju-Ju Bee is more like a dog, very curious and engaged.

We discovered part of what happened to Ju-Ju Bee. She was turned into a no-kill shelter really far away from us. The people thought she was lost in their neighborhood, so they put signs up and got no response so took her to the shelter to be scanned. That cat won’t wear a collar so it took some kind human deciding to take her in to find out who she was. Now it’s a requirement for all shelter pets to have microchips, but if it wasn’t for that person she wouldn’t be home now. They were taking her to the shelter to get her another home but to actually get her to her real home with us the microchip was necessary.

I knew those kind people who found Ju-Ju Bee must have been animal lovers because they’d even bathed her – now, there’s a fun job! People are pretty awesome!

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