Lottie the cat in December 2015 – just before he disappeared- and after being reunited with owner Kara Hanlon earlier this week (Pictures: Kara Hanlon)
A declawed cat with amnesia is back home for Christmas five years after he slipped out the door and vanished. The calico kitty, called Lottie, was reunited with owner Kara Hanlon in Des Moines, Iowa, on December 21 – almost five years to the day after Hanlon accidentally let Lottie out, and he ran away.
Lottie was a softie, and Hanlon feared his gentle temperament as well as lack of claws to hunt with meant he would not survive long as a stray.
She gradually lost hope of ever finding her old pet safe and sound. But last Sunday, she was stunned to receive a letter from Des Moines Animal Rescue League Division, who had picked up Lottie and identified him thanks to his microchip.
Hanlon said: ‘It was so shocking. It had been so long that, if somebody had found him, I assumed they would have had him scanned for a chip. We had kind of moved on and not thought that he was still alive.
‘It’s just so ironic that the same week of my last picture (of Lottie), five years apart, is when he comes back. It does seem like a Christmas miracle that he just shows up and we get this letter out of the blue.’
Lottie was found 10 miles from Hanlon’s home, close to a catering company his owner had happened to visit recently. Hanlon asked the owners ‘on a whim’ if they’d been caring for a calico cat – and was surprised to discover they had been.
They named the kitty Jariah, and looked after him for two weeks, before contacting animal control. Hanlon believes that cat was Lottie, although she was still mystified about where the kitty spent the rest of his days after leaving home.
A Facebook post by the Animal Rescue League may have shed some further light, when another local woman said she recognized Lottie. That woman cleaned an elderly man’s house in another part of Des Moines, and said a calico cat very similar to Hanlon’s would regularly visit, often accompanied by a ginger kitty.
Both she and the elderly man cared for the cat – who they called Patches – until the man moved in October this year, prompting speculation that Lottie may have gone wandering again in search of food and company.
Lottie is now six years-old. The kitty – a very rare example of a male calico cat – is underweight and has ear mites, although both conditions are easy to treat.
Hanlon says Lottie doesn’t remember his old surroundings – but is already very affectionate with her new baby.
She told the Des Moines Register: ‘It’s come full circle now.
‘He’s just a little sweetie. And he’s clearly got short-term memory loss or amnesia, so he’s not going to be allowed to go outside anymore. He’s just going to have to live the indoor life now.’
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