When Skittles the orange tabby cat disappeared on a family vacation in Wisconsin, Charmin Sampson thought she would never see her pet again. But four months and 353 miles later, the cat strolled back into her living room.
Although her teenage son recognized Skittles right away, Sampson wasn’t convinced. “I just couldn’t believe he made it all the way home,” she says. But when the skinny cat made a beeline to her bedroom for a catnap—just as he always did—she knew it was her courageous kitty.
Scientists don’t know why some lost pets are able to find their way back home over great distances. Although there are many theories—looking for familiar landmarks, using a keen sense of smell—no one knows for sure how they do it.
Sampson doesn’t care how Skittles made it home—she’s just glad he’s back. And she’s noticed only one difference since his return. “When Skittles goes outside,” she says, “he doesn’t go much past the porch.”