BEND, Ore. - It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "home for the holidays": A Bend cat is reunited with his family, more than three years after he went missing.
Arriving in Bend on a grain truck, Felix's life had an unusual start.
The kitten, along with his brothers and sisters, were put into the Humane Society of Central Oregon's foster care program. There, they were nurtured with food through medicine droppers.
Once old enough, and healthy enough, Felix was adopted by a friend of the foster family, and spent the next nine months of his life with them, until he disappeared in May of 2009.
But last Friday, another miracle for Felix. He was found 12 miles from home and brought back to the Humane Society.
"The story we got was that their neighbors moved out, and then the cat started showing up at their house, and coming through their cat door," said HSCO Shelter Manager Karen Burns.
As the Humane Society does with every stray it takes in, Felix was scanned for a micochip -- and in this case, a number came up that was already in the system.
"We left a message with them," said Burns. "The owner called back, and she was ecstatic. It's going to be a great reunion."
And indeed, it was. But as expected, Felix's owners Angelina Swanson, and her son Gavin say he looks a little different than when they last saw him, over three years ago.
"Yeah -- he's huge," said Felix's owner, Angelia Swanson. "He's about four times as big as he was when we last saw him."
Burns says this is a perfect example of why microchips are so invaluable.
"Many, many cats refuse to wear collars, so it's that piece of ID that's always there -- it can't be removed," said Burns. "As long as you keep it up to date and registered, as the family did, there's always a chance you're going to get your animal back."
Felix is now back home with his family, and they say his adventures are over for a while.
"Well, I think we'll keep him inside for quite a while, and just let him have some peace and quiet," Swanson said.
If you would like more information on how to microchip your pet, you can visit the Humane Society's website http://www.hsco.org/ or you can call them at (541) /382-3537.