Cat travels 16 miles to get back home

Pet hadn't been off farm or in a car

Veterinarian Kris Muscari holds Mamma Kitty, who recently completed an incredible journey from Dolores to Lewis Arriola.

If Mamma Kitty could talk, she'd have a story to tell.

It's a story that has Dolores Veterinarian Kris Muscari and owner Nedra Wilson scratching their heads.

The story started on Friday, Aug. 15, when Wilson, who lives south of Arriola, loaded up her 4-year-old barn cat named Mamma Kitty. The cat had never been off the property since showing up there four years ago as a kitten. Wilson was taking Mamma Kitty to be spayed. Mamma Kitty's kittens at these point were having kittens, so Wilson started trapping the mamas so she could have them spayed.

Mamma Kitty was trapped and loaded into a carrier and driven to Dolores to see Muscari, who offers a free spay program through the Aspen Animal Shelter.

But as Wilson took the cat carrier and headed toward the front doors of the Dolores Animal Hospital, Mamma Kitty broke free.

"The cage was broken," Muscari said.

And out ran the cat. Everyone tried to catch the cat, to no avail.

Wilson even returned to Dolores at 11 p.m. that night and called for Mamma Kitty.

"When I called her, all the dogs in the neighborhood started barking, and I knew there was no way she was going to come to me," Wilson said.

So Wilson gave up and drove 16 miles to her home.

Muscari and staff left out traps in hopes of catching the wayward cat. Which by the way, they did catch a cat, but it wasn't Mamma Kitty.

"That cat was twice the size of Mamma Kitty," Wilson said. "And she had already been fixed."

In the meantime, Wilson figured she wouldn't see Mamma Kitty again.

But on Wednesday, five days later, Wilson walked outside and was surprised.

"I went out to feed one morning and there she was sitting up in the hayloft just looking at me," Wilson said.

The cat had never been off the farm before or traveled in a car.

"It's amazing, they must have a natural GPS," Wilson said.

Wilson just wishes her cat was wearing a camera.

"How did she cross the river or the highway?" she wondered.

Mamma Kitty would have had to cross the Dolores River, possibly over the Colorado 145 Bridge, and also had to cross U.S. 491.

"She's a cool cat," Wilson said.

Mamma Kitty was back at the Dolores Animal Hospital on Friday recovering from surgery. Muscari said she recovered nicely from the surgery and was a sweet cat.

"It's so amazing she would go so far. How in the world would she find her way home?" Muscari pondered while petting the friendly cat. "It's really, really bizarre."