7 Years After Going Missing in Maine, Cat Turns Up in Florida

Ashes, a cat that disappeared in 2015 in Chesterville, Maine, was found nearly 1,500 miles away in Orlando, Florida

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How did a cat from Maine make it all the way to Florida?

Ashes the cat disappeared seven years ago from Chesterville, Maine, and was recently found nearly 1,500 miles away in the Sunshine State.

"It's one thing if it's found in Augusta, a different thing if it's found in Orlando, Florida," said Janet Williams, who is originally from Maine, but now works in animal welfare in Florida.

Williams has agreed to help get Ashes back to her family in Maine, who is ecstatic she's coming home.

According to an online fundraiser, Denise Cilley, the cat's owner, says Ashes disappeared back in 2015 on her daughter's 10th birthday.

They searched tirelessly for weeks, but never found her.

"It's not impossible that she actually came on foot, but stranger things have happened, but I think it's more likely that she did get a ride somehow," Williams said.

Recently, a resident in Florida thought Ashes was a stray and brought her to the vet in Longwood when she became sick with a severe upper respiratory infection. She was also sneezing blood.

That's when Ashes' microchip was scanned. Williams credits her owners with always keeping the cat's information up to date.

"Every year, even though this cat was missing for seven years, every year, Denise renewed her information, made sure it was up to date, so that when the vet scanned the chip, they were able to get in touch with her," Williams said.

The owner's daughter is now a teenager, and the family says she's "over the moon" to have her cat homeward bound, with quite a tale to tell.

"It's just a mystery, and she's not telling, but it leaves it open to a wild adventurous story of speculation," Williams said.

A volunteer will be escorting Ashes home to the Portland Jetport on Wednesday, and that's when she'll be reunited with her owners.

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