Missing Cat Returns After 15 Years!

Many people have gone through the trauma of losing a beloved pet. Sometimes it’s your dog that accidentally gets past the gate, for others, it’s a cat who wanders away but never comes home. Can you imagine if you were actually able to get your pet back? For one woman that’s exactly what happened.


Tori Takayesu and her family live in Hawaii. Fifteen years ago they made the move from Kula to Makawao. They, of course, made sure there beloved cat James came with them on the journey. James is actually a female but was named before they knew better. She is also a cat that ventures both indoors and outdoors which is where her journey began. One day, James disappeared and was nowhere to be found. The family was of course absolutely gutted and tried their best to locate the wayward feline.

Because James was both an indoor and outdoor cat she often left during the day to go out and explore, the way cats do, but she always came back in the evening. The family continued the same practice after they moved into their new home in Makawao. Several months after moving, James didn’t come back. Tori and her family spent the next two months searching for the family pet. Tori said, “My kids had been looking for her at least a month or two months. They were really sad. She didn’t come back. We couldn’t find her anywhere. We didn’t know what happened to her.”

Eventually, the family forlornly began to accept that James was gone and was probably not ever going to return. Fifteen long years later, the family received a very unexpected phone call. The Maui Human Society reached out to Tori about a lost cat. At first, Tori was confused. She didn’t own a cat. Then she said, “All of a sudden, I remembered her. I couldn’t believe it. I just never thought, after all these years, that she would come back to me.” The long lost calico cat had somehow found her way back to Tori.

In 2001, James’ ear was tattooed with Tori’s phone number by a veterinarian office as a form of identification. This was obviously in the days before the micro-chip was widely used. Tori had miraculously not changed her phone number after all of these years and the shelter was able to reach her. Tori thought someone had certainly been taking care of her after all of these years, and that someone would come to claim her. She waited a few days before retrieving her in case James had a new owner.


Interestingly, no one else came forward so Tori was able to bring home her long-missing cat. Tori and James were at long last, reunited. Tori said of the amazing moment, “I really didn’t believe it until I laid eyes on her. I did not believe this was my long-lost cat, that they would find her, that she would be in good shape, that she could come back to me. It’s crazy… We were just so happy. It’s just like having one of our children come back home.” Pet-owners who have suffered similar losses will understand the sentiment; what a beautiful gift for Tori and her family!