Felines Rock! - A Cat’s 200-Mile Trek Home Leaves Scientists Guessing (New York Times - A version of this article appeared in print on 01/20/2013, on page A19 of the NewYork edition with the headline: A Cat’s 200-Mile Trek Home Leaves Scientists Guessing.) -
"Nobody knows how it happened: an indoor house cat who got lost on a family excursion managing, after two months and about 200 miles, to return to her hometown. Even scientists are baffled by how Holly, a 4-year-old tortoiseshell who in early November became separated from Jacob and Bonnie Richter at an R.V. rally in Daytona Beach, Fla., appeared on New Year’s Eve — staggering, weak and emaciated — in a backyard about a mile from the Richters’ house in West Palm Beach. . . . . . Barb Mazzola, a 52-year-old university executive assistant, noticed a cat “barely standing” in her backyard in West Palm Beach, struggling even to meow. Over six days, Ms. Mazzola and her children cared for the cat, putting out food, including special milk for cats, and eventually the cat came inside. They named her Cosette after the orphan in Les Misérables, and took her to a veterinarian, Dr. Sara Beg at Paws2Help. Dr. Beg said the cat was underweight and dehydrated, had “back claws and nail beds worn down, probably from all that walking on pavement,” but was “bright and alert” and had no parasites, heartworm or viruses. “She was hesitant and scared around people she didn’t know, so I don’t think she went up to people and got a lift,” Dr. Beg said. “I think she made the journey on her own.” At Paws2Help, Ms. Mazzola said, “I almost didn’t want to ask, because I wanted to keep her, but I said, ‘Just check and make sure she doesn’t have a microchip.’” When told the cat did, “I just cried.” The Richters cried, too upon seeing Holly, who instantly relaxed when placed on Mr. Richter’s shoulder. Re-entry is proceeding well, but the mystery persists. “We haven’t the slightest idea how they do this,” Mr. Galaxy said. “Anybody who says they do is lying, and, if you find it, please God, tell me what it is.”"
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