Skip to main content

This real-life homeward bound story is stranger than fiction, but it sure has a happy ending. Cindy and Jeff Hall adopted a kitten from the Pawsitively Cats shelter in Tucson, Ariziona. Little Sam was a Russian Blue, and became like a member of their family for seven years. And then one day, he disappeared.

The indoor cat got out and never came home. They of course searched for Sam. They asked around and plastered their neighborhood in posters. At first, they held out hope someone might find him. But as days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months they wondered if they would ever see him again. Over the years, the couple gave up. They even moved from Arizona to Nevada.

Five years after Sam disappeared, Cindy and Jeff got a phone call. It was from the Pawsitively Cats shelter back in Arizona. Their cat was back. But he’d been found in Arkansas.

We may never know how, but Sam somehow found himself alone at a gas station in Brinkley, Arkansas. Somehow or another, he knew to walk up to two volunteers who were transporting rescue dogs to a clinic for a nonprofit called Alone 2 Home. Of all the humans he could have picked, he did pretty well.

Gray cat walking across the grass of a lawn.
Gray cat | Marko Blazevic via Unsplash

The two women happily scooped up the cat and took it along to the Jacksonville Animal Hospital in Little Rock. There, the staff scanned Sam for a microchip and found out his identity, so they called Pawsitively Cats.

Sam had traveled 1,200 miles in his five years on the road. Sheryl Campbell, the founder of Pawsitively Cats suspects someone scooped up Sam and didn’t bother to check if he was lost. Whoever had Sam must have moved to Arkansas, or even took a roadtrip, before Sam escaped for a second time.

Even though the clinic, the shelter, and Sam’s first owners were in contact, there was still the challenge of getting him home. The Alone 2 Home volunteers offered to take Sam along on their roadtrip to El Paso. Campbell made plans to meet them in Texas, then bring Sam home to Tucson. The Halls were eager to make the trek back to Tucson to be reunited with Sam. In the words of Campbell, “It takes a team.”

Next, read about a border collie tossed from a car crash who turned up on a farm herding sheep, or meet Sam and his family in the video below: