Every so often we hear about cats who have returned home after being lost far from their home. Scientists typically discount such stories saying that it’s probably just a stray that looks like the cat the people had lost. If you’re a cat owner, you know your cat. That explanation doesn’t hold water.
In the case of Holly, a four-year-old tortoise shell, there was no question that this is the same cat that Jacob and Bonnie Richter had lost 200 miles away. Holly has distinctive features and she also has a microchip implanted that proved the emaciated cat actually found its way home from Daytona Beach to West Palm Beach.
Science has very little knowledge about the navigation system that cats use to find their home. “I really believe these stories, but they’re just hard to explain,” said Marc Bekoff, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Colorado. “Maybe being street-smart, maybe reading animal cues, maybe being able to read cars, maybe being a good hunter. I have no data for this.”
Or maybe cats have a psychic ability – remote viewing or clairvoyance. They can not only see a distant place and its location, but can find their way there. The Richters were camping in their RV near the Daytona Speedway along with 3,000 other RVs when something frightened Holly and she bolted away.
The Richters searched and searched for the cat, notified animal organizations and before leaving literally begged others to return the cat if they found it. Holly made it all the way to West Palm, and was just a mile from home when she staggered into the backyard of Barb Mazzola’s house on New Year’s Eve. She nursed the cat for six days and took it to a vet who found the imbedded chip and contacted the Richters. The name of the helpful vet–Dr. Beg.
Here’s the whole story.