After nine months and miles away, cat returns to family

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BUENA VISTA, Va. (WDBJ7) -- Michelle Ewing-Karenga and her childrencame into the strange place cautiously.

“I really thought that it might be a scam or something,” she said.

She was at the Edgewater Animal Hospital in Buena Vista to find out if the impossible was true: that their cat, Bella, lost for nine months, was alive and well.

“She wanted to enjoy the spring day of March 28, 2018, and I had to get my oldest from school," Ewing-Karenga remembered. "So I said: go ahead, I’ll be back in a little while.”

But by day’s end, Bella wasn’t home, and as weeks passed, “Eventually, we just kind of said maybe nature took its course," she said. "And we haven’t seen her for nine and a half months.”

Until they came to the animal hospital.

“She’s very sweet," Dr. Eileen Whitten said. "And she’s been very, very friendly.”

Bella had been living the past couple months in Lexington, an hour from her Lynchburg home. A cat rescue activist brought her, calling her Cookie, into Edgewater Animal Hospital for a check.

“And we scanned Miss Cookie and found that she had been microchipped," Dr. Whitten explained. "And Megan tracked down the number a contacted the owner.”

“They sent me a picture of her and right away I was like, 'that’s my cat,'" said Ewing-Karenga. "Yeah.”

And so Bella’s grand adventure ended with happy snuggles and a drive back home.

“I could hear her purring so that was good," Ewing-Karenga said. "That’s comforting.”