Cleo flew with a chaperone from Ontario to the International Airport in Edmonton, Alberta to be reunited with her petmom, Amanda Graham.
We shared Cleo’s story on March 26, with: Long lost cat recently saved from death row to be reunited with owner.
Stuck in the Mud Animal Rescue, of Belleville, Ontario, saved Cleo from a shelter’s death row and managed to trace and contact her owner after deciphering the number on her faded ear tattoo ID.
Betty-Jean Matthews, president of Stuck in the Mud Animal Rescue, said the pretty calico was found wandering the streets of Brockville, Ontario last September. Her group took the cat in, rescuing her off the euthanasia list.
Cleo was undernourished and needed to be re-socialized after living rough on the streets for at least part of the time she’d been missing. Stuck in the Mud nursed her back to health and helped her to become well socialized again over the months that followed.
A vet found Cleo’s faded identification tattoo when she was taken to be spayed. The tattoo also told the vet that she was already spayed.
Betty-Jean says her daughter, who is Stuck in the Mud Animal Rescue’s resident pet detective, traced the cat’s owner with help from the clinic where she was spayed, and Stuck in the Mud was able to contact Amanda Graham after reaching out through Facebook. Amanda told Matthews that Cleo had gone missing in 2009 while she attended college.
A man who heard Cleo’s story donated his air miles so Cleo and her chaperone could save on travel costs.
Stuck In The Mud Animal Rescue wrote at Facebook today:
“Thanks to Richard Guyon, and all the other people who financially supported Cleo’s trip home with Brenda. Also thanks to Tracey Spencer for driving Cleo and Brenda to the airport. And thanks to Brenda for taking her to Edmonton.”
Amanda told CTV News Edmonton said her connection to her cat began before Cleo was born.
“Her mom is a friend of mine’s cat.
“We were there when she was born and all through when she was a little baby.”
Cleo was the smallest kitten of her litter, Amanda said.
“She got really sick and almost died but all the other kittens would take turns cuddling with her.”
As she grew, Cleo wanted to go outside.
“She just kept getting out and not coming back. Someone would find her and we’d bring her home and then she would get out again and then wouldn’t come back. The last time we didn’t find her and assumed the worst.”
Brenda Potts of the Quinte Lost Cats Network flew with Cleo as the cat traveled to Edmonton this morning. She is quoted by CTV saying:
I was hoping that Cleo for six years had been looking for Amanda all that time and that she would just glom onto her and remember who she was. I think that might have happened. So I am really happy about it.
“We have no idea what she was doing for six years. What kind of experience she had. We just knew that she was really sensitive.”
“There have been a lot of people involved here. The person who paid for the flights, the rescue society, that actually found her and brought her to the veterinarian. It takes a lot of parts to make this happen and each and every one is integral,” Charles West, the veterinarian who gave Cleo the tattoo, said at the airport.
“It was a happy moment. We have enough of those that are not quite as happy where we can’t find the owners. I just wanted to see it and talk to Amanda and see the happiness that happens.”
There were tears when Amanda was finally reunited with Cleo earlier today.
Amanda Graham, Brenda Potts of the Quinte Lost Cats Network, Richard Guyon, who donated his air miles to fly Cleo and her chaperone, and Dr. Charles West, who spayed and tattooed Cleo 6 years ago, all spoke on camera for the video below, made by the Edmonton Journal.