Cat returns home three years later

February 2, 2013
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Katie Roupe / Observer-Reporter
Morgan MacFarlane, 12, of South Strabane, sits with her cat, Milo, who was missing for three years. Milo reappeared last week as if no time had passed. Order a Print
Image description
Katie Roupe / Observer-Reporter
Milo has returned to his South Strabane Township home after having been missing for three years. Order a Print

When Mary Anne MacFarlane opened the front door of her South Strabane Township home to let her two dogs outside Monday, her cat, Milo, strolled in from outside.

While that might not seem out of the ordinary, MacFarlane had not seen the orange tabby since the big snow during the first weekend of February three years ago.

“It was like he never left,” MacFarlane said. “He went up the stairs to the kitchen and straight for his food bowl. I kept thinking it couldn’t possibly be Milo.”

MacFarlane called her 12-year-old daughter, Morgan, who was visiting at a friend’s house.

“I told her that she might want to come home,” MacFarlane said.

During the storm three years ago, MacFarlane was shoveling out her car, and Milo, who prefers to handle his “business” outside as opposed to using a litter box, was out with her. When she went to go back inside the house, she couldn’t find the cat.

“I thought he was gone,” she said.

MacFarlane and her family spent several days at a motel after losing heat during the storm.

“I kept coming back and checking for him,” MacFarlane said. “We put posted fliers around the neighborhood and asked neighbors if they had seen him. Every time Morgan saw an orange tabby, she’d go running after it.”

The family is sure the cat is Milo. The cat had a scar on his left ear from a fight he had while a kitten. He also has little spots on his nose. And he remembered his name, as well as the location of his food dish.

MacFarlane said she had taken in Milo’s pregnant mother. After the kittens were born and weaned, MacFarlane took the mom to Washington Area Humane Society and the kittens to Wet Pets for adoption.

“But they wouldn’t take Milo because he had some drainage in his eye,” MacFarlane said. “So we kept him.”

Wherever he has been the past three years, Milo has been well cared for, MacFarlane said. He weighs more than when he disappeared.

A few months ago, MacFarlane agreed that her daughter could have a kitten for her birthday. The gray female was named Miley, in honor of Milo. While Milo likes Miley, the feeling, at least initially, has not been mutual.

“I wish he could tell me where he has been. I’d like to find out where he has been for the last three years,” MacFarlane said. “We’ve been watching so he doesn’t go outside. I think he is destined to be here. If he does go out, I think I’ll attach a note to his collar in case he goes back to where he had been staying.”

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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