Missing cat returns home after 6 years to comfort nurse battling COVID-19

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CANADAIGIA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A cat that was missing for six years is back home just in time to comfort his owner, a nurse who’s battling COVID-19. 

“This is Charlie, he’s about 10 years old,” said Ashley Orians, while cuddling her orange tabby cat.  

They spent six years apart, but the bond between she and Charlie is stronger than ever.  

“We’re so happy to be back together, aren’t we buddy?” she said, giving the cat a smooch. 

Their paths first crossed in 2010. 

“I found him on my college campus as a little tiny kitten with a broken tail,” said Ashley. 

She rescued Charlie and now it’s his turn to comfort his owner as she recovers from COVID-19. 

“He’s been staying on my lap most of the time and just being his normal self,” she said. 

Charlie disappeared in February of 2015 while Ashley was living near Charleston, SC. She walked the streets, put up fliers, and never stopped searching, even when she moved back to Upstate New York. 

“It’s been like thousands of orange cats that I’ve asked about, and none of them had the broken tail,” she said.

Perseverance paid off. She spotted an orange tabby on a missing pets Facebook page who just happened to have that unique characteristic, a broken tail.

Apparently, the curious cat had been living outside a dentist’s office for all those years. Staff kept him well fed and patients always looking for the friendly feline they simply called “Orange Kitty.”

But how to get Charlie 900 miles from SC to NY while Ashley was under quarantine?

“It was certainly an honor for my company to be involved in this reunion,” said Michael Morgan with MFM Transporters.  

“It blew me away that they were actually able to find the cat and get it returned to her,” said Morgan, who owns a pet concierge business.  

A positive ending to an especially difficult year. Ashley’s two other cats passed away in 2020, making Charlie’s return even more meaningful.

“I just can’t even say how excited I am that he’s back and what a great start to 2021, I couldn’t have asked for anything better,” said Ashley. 

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