Tilly became a member of her family when she was just a young kitten, and over the next two years, she played a vital role in many aspects of their lives. The family left Tilly with a sitter while they were on vacation in 2014, and they were heartbroken to learn she had missing.
As soon as they returned, Tilly’s family did everything they could think of to find her, but their beloved cat was nowhere to be found.
“We would stand outside and call her name every day for about six months after we got home,” Emily Rivers, one of Tilly’s family members, told The Dodo. “We would always keep our eyes peeled when walking around our suburb. We messaged all the animal rescues and pounds in our area and nobody had found her. We visited a few found cats along the way that resembled her, but to no avail. We had pretty much given up hope of ever being reunited with our girl about two years in.”
Years passed, and the heartbroken family accepted that Tilly was probably never coming home — and then they got a call that changed everything. It was their vet, saying that after 6 years, someone had found Tilly.
We were shocked at first because we never imagined this day would arrive, according to Rivers. We couldn’t believe it when we learned that she had been a neighborhood stray for approximately six months only a few streets over from ours. Since I didn’t want to get my expectations up again, I really didn’t want to trust it until I saw her.
Apparently, Tilly had been showing up at a family’s home over the past several months, looking for food and attention, and after a while they brought her to the vet to see if she was microchipped — and she was. As soon as the call came, Rivers and her sister rushed over to the vet and were overwhelmed with joy when they found Tilly waiting for them. They were so incredibly happy to see her again after all these years, and Tilly was just as happy to see them, too.
“Tilly just snuggled into us as if to say, ‘I’m finally home,’” Rivers said. “I can say for certain she remembers us.”
“She hasn’t stopped eating and curls into my arms every night for cuddles,” Rivers said. “She follows us everywhere, never lets us out of her sight. We thought she’d try and get out again but she has no interest at this stage of leaving the house.”
After a protracted six-year separation, nothing has changed. Tilly is still the same affectionate cat she has always been, and she is overjoyed to be back home with her family.