One little cat has taken an extraordinary journey across the Australian outback
When 10-year-old Emily Schilling realized her three-year-old cat, Pippa, went missing from their home on February 20 in Darwin, Northern Territory, she and her mother searched for weeks in nearby shelters and neighborhoods.
“The cat went missing, as cats do wander off, and we just expected her to come back at some point, then a couple of weeks passed and… still nothing,” Rebecca told Mashable Australia.
After time had passed, Emily eventually accepted the sad reality that Pippa had been hit by a car or taken by a stranger.
Then on April 10, Rebecca, Emily’s mother, received an unexpected call from her former neighbor Jason King, who had just relocated to Brisbane, Queensland over two thousand miles away.
“Seven weeks later, I get a phone call and a guy saying ‘this your ex-neighbor, we moved to Queensland and we have just opened the container and found your cat’,” Rebecca said.
As King packed up his belongings into a container on the cul de sac where the Schillings live, the cat somehow walked inside. “She probably thought ‘this is a nice place to hang out,’ and crawled into the back and just made herself at home,” Rebecca said.
When King opened the container after 49 days, he didn’t expect to see his belongings were covered in bodily fluid and hair. He even had to dispose of some of his furnishings.
Pippa miraculously survived the long journey, but was drastically underweight and malnourished when she was set free. It seems she was determined to somehow return home to her family.
“She had nothing,” Rebecca said. “No food, no water and very little ventilation as it was completely sealed for weather protection … I didn’t expect to see her again.”
Rebecca said she felt “sheer disbelief” when she heard the news of the cat’s reappearance in another state, and Emily is “over the moon” knowing her cat will be home soon.
Pippa has been taken in by a vet from the animal welfare centre in Brisbane, and once she gains weight she can take a flight home to her family. It is expected she will be ready to travel by the end of next week, and make a full recovery.
“She might come back with a nervous twitch though,” Rebecca added.
But, she’s coming back, and that’s all that matters. I can only imagine that reunion will be an incredibly special one.