Newspaper Photo Reunites Man with his Missing Cat

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Steve Kadelak and Rooney
Photos, Humane Society of Tampa Bay

A South Tampa, Florida man was reunited with his long missing cat this week after seeing kitty’s photo in the newspaper, where it was placed by the organization that rescued him from the County shelter.

Steve Kadelak’s cat Rooney went missing in January and he didn’t think he’d ever see the cat again after months went by with no sign of him. Steve just happened to see Rooney’s photo in the Tampa Tribune (TBO) recently, where the cat was featured as one of this month’s Pet Pals at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay.

Steve immediately contacted the Humane Society to let them know he thought they had his missing cat, got confirmation that the cat’s markings matched Rooney’s, and rushed to the shelter. There, he and Rooney were reunited, and now the long lost cat is back at home.

The Humane Society of Tampa Bay rescued Rooney from Hillsborough County Animal Services (HCAS) at the beginning of May to save him from possibly ending up on the euth list, but does not know where the 3 year old ginger and white cat was before he ended up at Animal Services.

The Humane Society of Tampa Bay wrote at Facebook, saying: “REUNITED! Sunday morning as this gentleman was throwing out his newspaper, a picture caught his eye. In the Pet Pals section of the Tampa Tribune ( he saw an orange and white kitty who looked just like his own missing boy who he’d been searching for since January! He immediately called our office and asked our adoption manager to describe the markings on his face. When she described the unique mark he had in mind, he was ecstatic and rushed to our shelter. We don’t know where Bama had been all those months but we recently transferred him from Hillsborough County Animal Services and decided to feature him in this month’s Pet Pals. This picture sequence says it all; a soft gaze up at his dad followed by a contented, closed-eye purr. Welcome home, sweet boy!”

The Tampa Tribune is pleased to have played a part in the reunion and spoke with Rooney’s petdad for a story..

“I just happened to unfold the Tribune and was looking at the kitties and said, ‘Wow, that looks like Rooney,’” said Steve.

“As soon as he saw the cat, he got very emotional,” Humane Society of Tampa Bay executive director Sherry Silk told the paper. “It was his kitty.”

The Tampa Tribune reports that Steve took Rooney in as a kitten and has several other cats. Steve told the paper that Rooney is microchipped but the company tracking the chip could not find him. Steve also said he contacted HCAS and was told they did not have a cat fitting Rooney’s description. Rooney may have come to HCAS after Steve had given up on finding him.

Steve told the paper: “I was just thinking, ‘Well, I hope he’s happy wherever he is.”

Rooney is a bit skittish since returning home but is settling back with his petdad and the household’s other cats.




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