Orlando woman reunites with lost cat found 8 years later

Smelly disappeared from Kathleen Crichton's home 8 years ago. Turns out she was in Gainsville.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Kathleen Crichton knows she won’t ever figure out how her cat got to Gainesville, but hopes he hasn’t been on his own for the past eight years.

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“If only he could tell his story. I want to know how he got to Gainesville. Did he trek there over the last eight years? Did someone pick him up and move to Gainesville with him?” Crichton asked.

Her cat, Smelly, disappeared from her Waterford Lakes home in 2008, when she then had three cats and a dog. Now, eight years later, she has three sons and a fish.

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Crichton never imagined she would get back the cat she lost years ago; she remembers the day he disappeared.

“He was always an inside-outside cat,” she said. “He likes to go out go, always went for walks with the dog, follow me around in the yard, so I thought he would come back.”

A vet from Millhopper Veterinary Clinic Center in Gainesville called Crichton last week to tell her someone found her cat and took it to the clinic because the cat was microchipped.

Crichton got the cat's old carrier out of the attic, and made the more than a two-hour drive to the animal clinic.

“I’m still in shock by it; still a lot for me to take in,” Crichton said.

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She said the cat is just as feisty as the day he left. He’s now 16 year olds.

Orange County Animal Services sent in a statement regarding pets being microchipped:  “We’re not able to run statistics on microchips, but it is definitely something that we recommend. Without a doubt, it is the most effective way to reunite with a lost pet.”

Contact Julie Salomone for more on this story.

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