The cat that was reunited with her Maine family last week after a decade-long absence died on Tuesday afternoon.
The Portland Press Herald reports that Miss Kitty, as the Calico cat was known, succumbed to pneumonia and other health problems that afflicted her before her unexpected reunion with her human family.
“I really wanted to have a happy ending,” Jennifer Banis, a Topsham resident, told the Press Herald. “I really think my mother brought her to me so she wouldn’t die alone in the woods.”
Banis adopted Miss Kitty after her mother died from cancer, but in 2009, two years after Banis brought Miss Kitty from South Carolina to Maine, the feline disappeared, according to CBS affiliate WGME. She told the TV station earlier this week that she kept up hope that Miss Kitty would be found, but after a year she came to accept that her beloved cat may have been “gotten by something.”
But then Miss Kitty turned up days ago on Old Brunswick Road in Durham, about eight miles from Banis’ Topsham home, the Press Herald reports. A resident who noticed Miss Kitty hanging around her house for two days called the local animal control officer, who brought the cat to Midcoast Humane Society in Brunswick, where a microchip was found embedded in the cat’s skin, according to the newspaper.
That discovery led to a joyous reunion between Miss Kitty and Banis, who told WGME that finding the cat was like finding a connection to her mother.
“I called her my mom’s cosmic traveling companion, because I just felt sure that she would be traveling through the worlds with my mom,” Banis told WGME. “For sure, my mom was watching out for her, and with a journey like hers, I had to fight for her.”
But it was a joy not meant to last. When Miss Kitty was found, she was emaciated, anemic, flea-infested and struggled at times to breathe, the Press Herald reports. She underwent surgery to repair a collapsed larynx.
Miss Kitty returned home over the weekend, where Banis and her family made up for lost time, showering love on the cat, according to the Press Herald. They returned to the vet on Monday when Miss Kitty continued to struggle to breathe.
“It all was too much for her little body,” Banis told the Press Herald. “She was doing OK for a while. Then it just became clear to me that she came back to us because my mom wanted to make sure she was safe and comfy when she passed.”
She died on Tuesday surrounded by Banis and her family, who may never learn where Miss Kitty was all those years or what adventures she may have had.