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Sun Jan 20, 2013, 04:32 PM

A Catís 200-Mile Trek Home Leaves Scientists Guessing


Barbara P. Fernandez for The New York Times Jacob Richter, 70, left, and Bonnie Richter, 63, flank Holly, the cat that traveled 190 miles to find her way home.
Nobody knows how it happened: an indoor housecat 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 Yearís Eve ó staggering, weak and emaciated ó in a backyard about a mile from the Richtersí house in West Palm Beach.

ďAre you sure itís the same cat?Ē wondered John Bradshaw, director of the University of Bristolís Anthrozoology Institute. In other cases, he has suspected, ďthe cats are just strays, and the people have got kind of a mental justification for expecting it to be the same cat.Ē

But Holly not only had distinctive black-and-brown harlequin patterns on her fur, but also an implanted microchip to identify her.
<snip>
More: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/19/one-cats-incredible-journey/

Cats are professional stalkers. They make humans look like beginners with their GPS.

46 replies, 4466 views

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Arrow 46 replies Author Time Post
Reply A Catís 200-Mile Trek Home Leaves Scientists Guessing (Original post)
Are_grits_groceries Jan 2013 OP
Deep13 Jan 2013 #1
Are_grits_groceries Jan 2013 #2
Deep13 Jan 2013 #25
Arugula Latte Jan 2013 #3
blaze Jan 2013 #6
Arugula Latte Jan 2013 #33
Faygo Kid Jan 2013 #4
petronius Jan 2013 #5
Flaxbee Jan 2013 #7
Buzz Clik Jan 2013 #8
tama Jan 2013 #15
BlancheSplanchnik Jan 2013 #30
arikara Jan 2013 #42
derby378 Jan 2013 #9
Moondog Jan 2013 #10
Locrian Jan 2013 #11
flying rabbit Jan 2013 #12
Lone_Star_Dem Jan 2013 #13
a la izquierda Jan 2013 #22
Lone_Star_Dem Jan 2013 #29
Rex Jan 2013 #14
thereismore Jan 2013 #16
LisaLynne Jan 2013 #21
samsingh Jan 2013 #17
In_The_Wind Jan 2013 #18
Tuesday Afternoon Jan 2013 #28
ReRe Jan 2013 #19
frogmarch Jan 2013 #20
jberryhill Jan 2013 #23
Kennah Jan 2013 #32
flvegan Jan 2013 #35
Ratty Jan 2013 #24
JimDandy Jan 2013 #26
love_katz Jan 2013 #27
jpak Jan 2013 #31
CountAllVotes Jan 2013 #34
shenmue Jan 2013 #36
Coyotl Jan 2013 #37
joeybee12 Jan 2013 #38
LWolf Jan 2013 #39
joeybee12 Jan 2013 #40
LWolf Jan 2013 #41
joeybee12 Jan 2013 #44
arikara Jan 2013 #43
joeybee12 Jan 2013 #45
reformist2 Jan 2013 #46

Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 04:39 PM

1. When reached for comment, the cat merely stated "mrow!" nt

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Response to Deep13 (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 04:40 PM

2. They also define the word omerta. nt

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 07:37 PM

25. *chuckle* nt

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 04:58 PM

3. Aww, smart girl.

I'm so glad she found her way back.

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 05:36 PM

6. lol... I haven't seen that penquin slapping vid in a while!

It always makes me laugh out loud!!!

Thanks!

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Response to blaze (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:34 PM

33. You're welcome!

It just never gets old.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 05:31 PM

4. Amazing story.

I can't imagine life without dogs and cats. They make me an infinitely better person. And as for them, they get treats.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 05:35 PM

5. Happy ending! We almost lost a cat on a cross-country move, and I hate to think what these

people felt heading home without her. Hopefully they'll keep the RV door a lot more secure on future excursions...

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 05:39 PM

7. Wonderful story. Animals are so much more complicated than we give them credit for..

and intelligent in ways we can't probably even begin to imagine.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 05:47 PM

8. "Scientists guessing" ????

There has been no science conducted other than a phone call to some guy. You would be no worse off calling Dial-a-Prayer or the LinkSys help line.

"After spending no time to study this and with absolutely no data, I must admit that I have no answers to this puzzle."

Nevertheless, it's interesting. We hear of this stuff every now and then.

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:14 PM

15. One of the few

 

scientist who has seriously studied the phenomenon of cats and dogs and other animals finding back to their homes/loved ones and related phenomena of our bonds, is Rupert Sheldrake: http://www.amazon.com/Dogs-That-Their-Owners-Coming/dp/0307885968

"Telepathy" is rather just a way of naming and categorizing the phenomenon than scientific explanation, if by that we mean and expect link to physics. Sheldrake's et alii hypothesis that the physical level of explanation could be found on quantum level has already some evidential support: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20927963.000-quantum-states-last-longer-in-birds-eyes.html

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Response to tama (Reply #15)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:06 PM

30. gotta read these...looks interesting! n/t

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Response to tama (Reply #15)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:16 PM

42. Our torti knows things

Sometimes when the Mr is on his way home she starts an intermittent horrible caterwaul 10 - 15 minutes before he arrives. Then a minute or 2 before he pulls into the driveway she starts screaming and races for the door. There is no way she is hearing the vehicle. And he doesn't come home at the same time every day, so it isn't simply habit. They are very bonded and my theory is that's when he starts thinking about her on the drive home, she picks up on it, and he's just not thinking of her on the days she doesn't do it. She's a very unusual creature and extremely intelligent.

I'll definitely have to order that book, thanks!

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 05:52 PM

9. Torties are different

Our little Banjo was a soft tortie, and she insisted on giving me a kitty hug ehenver I got home from work. She was definitely different, but oh-so-loveable.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:01 PM

10. Nice story.

Happy cat, happy people.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:02 PM

11. no mystery....



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Response to Locrian (Reply #11)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:05 PM

12. Toonces to the rescue!

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:07 PM

13. When I was a kid my friends father took her cat from her and got rid of it.

He was a mean, mentally abusive person looking at it as an adult I now realize.

He wouldn't say where the cat was and she was sure it was dead. She cried, and of course I cried with her, for days. It was heartbreaking because the cat was her one real source of love in the household.

She lived next door to me and we played together pretty much everyday. A few weeks after Sassy had been taken we were in my backyard together when we heard this loud meowing over and over again. It was Sassy! She'd found her way back home and was running across the top of the fence between our houses, straight to my friend. Her paws were raw and she was bedraggled, but she and my friend were so happy to see each other again.

Her father confessed to having dumped the cat in another town almost 30 miles away. Somehow she found her way home to my friend. My mom told her father she'd keep the cat and let my friend visit her. Her father relented and let my friend keep the cat instead.

My friend moved away to live with her aunt less than a year after that. When she came to my HS graduation several years later she told me she still had Sassy.

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Response to Lone_Star_Dem (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:37 PM

22. Okay, I love this story.

Well, not the part about the mean dad getting rid of the cat, but the rest.

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Response to a la izquierda (Reply #22)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 09:57 PM

29. I enjoyed remembering it.

It's strange to remember how different things seemed back when I was 9 years old. It seemed only right that Sassy came home back then, now I realize how amazing it really was.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:12 PM

14. Cats are the masters of the world.

We are lucky enough that they put up with us.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:19 PM

16. Maybe the cat crawled into the engine of their RV, survived trip home

and then wandered about until found.

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Response to thereismore (Reply #16)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:36 PM

21. Maybe, but if you read the entire article,

There was a woman who found a cat between the two locations that was fairly sure she had the cat. They even drove up to get her, but the cat had escaped again. Animals do have uncanny abilities to find their way home. I've seen scientific speculation that perhaps they have more of an ability to sense the magnetic pull of the poles and orient themselves to that. There are lots of these stories out there.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:19 PM

17. kick

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:27 PM

18. Hurray for Holly!

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Response to In_The_Wind (Reply #18)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 09:20 PM

28. kick for kitty

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:31 PM

19. What are we going to hve to do.....

...start fingerprinting our pets? That really is a true life miracle. Reminds me of Milo and Otis. My kids loved that movie when they were kids. Watched it over and over and over. You know, we have brilliant minds in the human race, and I think some of our animals have brilliant minds too What a cute kitty! Thanks A-g-g for this news...

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:33 PM

20. Astounding and wonderful! nt

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:49 PM

23. My goodness, how far away do you have to dump them to be safe?

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #23)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:25 PM

32. Better put an ocean between you and a dumped cat that wants to find home

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #23)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:31 PM

35. Attempt at comedy?

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 07:05 PM

24. My cat did 2 miles

From old house to new in at most two days. Not 200 miles but still 2 miles across a busy urban area is pretty amazing to me. This was about 6 months after I moved. The best theory I've heard is that cats have a really good memory for the position of the sun. At a certain time of day at a certain time of year they instinctually know the sun should be just there. But I find it hard to believe anything could discern the difference in the position of the sun over just two miles. Still, I really don't think it's magnetism and I don't think smell can travel that far.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 07:52 PM

26. I once drove 2 ferral kittens

that hung around my apt complex up to my uncle's farm that was about 10 miles away. One of the 6 month old kittens was back at my apt complex just one week later! He never would let me get too near him again, but he didn't turn his nose up at my table scraps.

Animals are simply mysterious.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 08:37 PM

27. K&R...

That is one incredible cat!

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:06 PM

31. Good kitty

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:27 PM

34. Maneki Neko Cat

Also known to be a "Good luck/good fortune cat".

Seems to be just that and then some!

So glad this kitty found his way home!



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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:14 PM

36. Hooray for kittehs and love!

Hooray!

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:16 PM

37. Let me guess, the R.V.had windows and the cat saw where it went??

D'oh!

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:19 PM

38. Glad this has a happy ending, but who takes their cat on vacation with them?

Cats don't travel well...they're better safe at home

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Response to joeybee12 (Reply #38)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:43 PM

39. While I don't take my cat anywhere,

I've known people who spend at least half their time, sometimes all their time, on the road, living in RVs. They take their cats, and their cats adapt to travel. It's all in what they know.

My son's cat walks politely on leash and suffers a bath without claws or teeth; no cat I've ever had did either of those things, but this cat started young.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #39)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:46 PM

40. I think those cats are the exception, rather than the rule...

EVen kittens freak out in a car...that said, I walk one of my cats with a leash...started him young since he had way too much energy.

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Response to joeybee12 (Reply #40)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:13 PM

41. I agree that they are the exception.

I walk my cat on a leash, whenever I am willing to risk losing a bunch of skin to get her harness on. She, cat-like, is not really ideal for leash-walking. She doesn't like being out in the open; she's heading under and behind everything she can find, and I spend a lot of time untangling her. In the open, with no cover, she stays right by my feet and trips me up.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #41)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:35 PM

44. I thought my cat was difficult!

He only starts fighting about the harness because he thinks it's something to play with...he's better early morning with no one around...he leads me, of course.

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Response to joeybee12 (Reply #38)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:25 PM

43. Not always. Read

the "Cat who Went to Paris", about a guy and his cat who traveled everywhere together.

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Response to arikara (Reply #43)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:38 PM

45. Oh I know it happens, but its the exception rather than the rule I think...

In any case, none of my cats and none of anyone I know like to travel...they're homebodies.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:38 PM

46. Maybe it was stuck somewhere in the RV the whole time?

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