On August 2015, after Ashes the cat disappeared from her Maine home, her family thought they would never see her again.
What You Need To Know
- Ashes the cat disappeared from her Maine home in 2015
- Seven years later, Ashes was located 1,500 miles away in Central Florida
- Thanks to help from donations and volunteers, the cat was finally reunited with her family in Maine
A then-10-month-old Ashes disappeared on Katie Cilley's — the owner's daughter — 10th birthday.
Ashes reappeared seven years later, 1,500 miles away in an animal shelter in Longwood, Fla.
The family reached out to Janet Williams, a Central Florida animal rescuer, to help them reunite with their long lost cat.
Williams left her job as a lawyer to dedicate her life to rescue animals. She formed two animal rescue nonprofits, one in Maine and one in Central Florida. She since retired from animal rescuing but when she heard about Ashes' story she knew it was special.
Williams said what really helped identify Ashes and reunite her with her family was her microchip.
“Having the chip alone is great, but you have to register it," Williams said. "You have to keep your information current. We’ve had a many dead-end chips.”
Williams fostered Ashes and took her to the veterinarian for health checkups and her vaccinations so she could fly back home.
"Janet is the most amazing women," Ashes' owner Denise Cilley said. "She’s like my best friend that I’ve never met. I asked her (the other day) what our next project is."
The Cilley family said they're slowly integrating Ashes with their other pets, more than a dozen of them. They Cilleys said they're just happy to have her back home.
“There’s been a lot of change in my life and having a cat back that I used to know so well, it was just overwhelming with so many good emotions," Katie Cilley said.
Through a GoFundMe account, the Cilley family was able to pay for Ashes' medical expenses. A flight attendant volunteered to take Ashes with her to fly her from Central Florida to Maine.