Cat Missing for 3 Years Returns Home and Reunited with "Mom"

It was just one of those spooky things. On Halloween 2010, a black cat named Jazz disappeared from his home in Cedar Park, Texas. But thanks to a microchip, Jazz found his way home Monday after three years on the road. Or somewhere.

His owner, Molly Mankey, is thrilled to have him back after his three-year adventure. “He’s grown a lot and is in very good shape, so I think he must have had a home,” she told “Pet Pals TV.”

When Jazz disappeared, Mankey looked for him for several months, posting flyers everywhere she could. She finally gave up, thinking that someone stole him because of the Halloween season. She was heartbroken and thought he was gone forever.

“I never thought we’d find him again,” she said. “He was an indoor-outdoor cat, and sometimes he would disappear for a while, but he always came back.”

A few days ago, Jazz showed up at the Austin Humane Society’s Feral Cat TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) Program. He was scanned for a chip which linked him to Mankey. The facility called Mankey to give her the good news: Jazz was back!

Photos courtesy of Austin Humane Society

“At first I didn’t believe it. I am thrilled,” she said.

She said she thought Jazz recognized her right away because he was “purring and being really friendly.” He’s now readjusting to a household that has one other cat and two dogs.

When Mankey had Jazz three years ago, he would demand to be let outside. “If I didn’t let him go, he’d flip out,” she said. “But I’m not going to let him do that for quite a while. He might not want to go out again – he’s a different personality now. He must have been spoiled! But he’s still the wonderful cat he always was. I’m so happy to have him back.”

Kelly Hanes, public relations manager for the Austin Humane Society, was pleased that Jazz was reunited with Mankey and hopes that this story will get the word out on the importance of microchipping.

“We are getting recognized nationally about how our feral cat program works,” Hanes told “Pet Pals TV.”

“Jazz, a jet black cat, arrived at the Austin Humane Society October 21st through the TNR Program, which is designed to serve feral, free-roaming and community cats across Central Texas. Volunteer trappers humanely trap the cats and bring them to the AHS where they are spayed/neutered. They also receive a rabies vaccination, microchip and wellness check from a staff veterinarian. The cats recover overnight and then the trappers return them to their previous location. The goal of the program is to stop kittens from being born into homelessness.”

More than 6,000 feral cats have been “fixed” though the AHS program and a few have been returned to owners.

“Jazz is a huge, friendly cat,” Hanes said with a chuckle. “Yesterday morning he was head-butting our Feral Services Coordinator and just crawling from one person to another, purring like crazy.”

“Pet Pals TV” airs in Austin at 6:30 a.m. Saturdays on The CW Austin.

--- Rita Rose

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Comment by Jimmy Kenney on October 24, 2013 at 1:06pm

Great story, Rita!  Jazz looks just like my beautiful black cat named Girline.

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