Cat walks 3 000km to get home

2011-11-08 14:26

Sydney - A homesick cat walked 3 000km from far northern Australia to the other end of the continent to be re-united with her sibling, according to news report.

That is the barely credible story from Sheree Gale, the owner of transcontinental tabby Jessie, who took 15 months to make the great trek from a farm near Darwin back to a homestead near Adelaide.

"I've heard too many stories like this not to believe Jessie's owners," Sydney veterinarian Peter Higgins said on Tuesday.

"Cats and dogs don't have the cognitive ability that we have but if you think about it logically they instinctively know how to get back to where they came from. It's what they do in the wild."

Gale had two cats, Jessie and Jack, when she moved to Darwin in 2010. Jack missed the flight because he was off wandering.


Gale was in touch with the family who rented her house and learned that Jesse had returned and taken up residence.

"In May 2011 they told us that Jessie had rocked up. They sent us photographs and it was her. It was definitely Jessie," Gale told national broadcaster ABC.

She agreed that it is difficult to believe a 10-year-old cat would make that 3 000km journey.

"I know it seems totally ridiculous," she said. "But when you think she's an old farm cat who is tough as nails who has never been to a vet in her life and has walked for several kilometres a day."

Gale reckoned it was unlikely that a farm cat like Jessie, timid and unused to vehicles, hitched a ride on a truck or on the train.

She also said that timing was important.

"Mother Nature was on her side because it was the year of the big wet season, which was closely followed by the mouse plague and the grasshopper plague and so there was food and water all the way down. Another year and I don't think she would have made it," she said.

Gale said she would not be separating Jessie and Jack again.

"No, when she's gone to all that trouble to get down there she can live out her days and stay with her brother and thankfully the family that are living in the house have been generous enough to feed her and her brother and it's worked out very well in the end."

  • Sharmay - 2011-11-08 14:34

    Cats. Are. Awesome.

      Ray - 2012-01-15 09:05

      A good job it didn't pass a Chinese restaurant!!

  • Natalie Adrienne Lara Lipschitz - 2011-11-08 14:55

    Aw :)

  • Michelle - 2011-11-08 15:11

    now thats an awesome story - look after her - she loves you clearly!! :)

      Jamie - 2011-11-08 16:51

      Wrong. She actually hates her so much that she ran away (3000km in fact) just to get away from her.

      nicky.bell - 2011-11-08 18:38

      huh? didn't you read it?? the cat went back to her old home to be with the cat she left behind, because 'he missed his flight.' WRONG, the owner missed his flight, should've had him inside for a few days before hand, so he didn't 'miss his flight.' the cat could care less about her!

  • Ann - 2011-11-08 15:37

    What an incredible story. Cats are spectacular - in fact all animals are fantastic - FAR BETTER THAN MOST HUMANS I KNOW :)

      Shirley - 2011-11-08 17:21

      Il second that! Animals show us daily what unconditional love is. [ Has anyone noticed how few comments are on this story? Clearly not a lot of animal fans out there.]

  • Karmah - 2011-11-08 16:09

    Yay for cats! =^.^=

  • Shirley - 2011-11-08 16:42

    What a wonderful feat of courage and determination. My world has taken a turn for the better scince I have them in my life. Wonderful,soulful creatures with an abundance of love to share.

      Dmitri - 2011-11-08 17:32

      Have to agree. I have a 3 1/2 year old Macaw who is like a daughter to me. Then there is Emo the cat (about the same age) who waits for me in the mornings to go outside. Never fails. The affection animals show to each other and to us is unconditional.

  • Ralph - 2011-11-08 17:44

    I love cats. I had one that did something similar many years ago but only had to cover about 10 kilometres. I thought that was quite an achievement.

  • nicky.bell - 2011-11-08 18:36

    Great first. 'Jack' missed his flight?? what???? he should've been locked inside, days before, ready for the flight. then the owner leaves without him anyway? "Never been to a vet in his life" either, so un-neutered and not vaccinated, great. some animal lover

  • deon.fourie - 2011-11-16 10:18

    Now I feel like going home and giving Tigger a hug :P

  • erneyb - 2011-11-16 10:50

    Wonder who paid for the cat's airline ticket ? Sure it had a mobile to.

  • Tennille - 2011-12-06 10:50

    Here is another tearjerker about Lab Beagles seeing the sun and feeling grass for the first time after being rescued. Beagles are the preferred breed of dog for lab/research use because they are so gentle and easy to handle. (yes in this day and age, such unspeakable things still happen)

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