Connie Faulker relaxes with Puss (right) and Boots  before Puss went missing in December of 2009. Puss  eventually returned home in January.

Connie Faulker relaxes with Puss (right) and Boots before Puss went missing in December of 2009. Puss eventually returned home in January.

Cat reunited with family

The story of Connie and Miles Faulkner’s cat Puss’s caper in the Canadian wilderness either has the makings of a classic Walt Disney tale or is simply proof miracles do happen.

The story of Connie and Miles Faulkner’s cat Puss’s caper in the Canadian wilderness either has the makings of a classic Walt Disney tale or is simply proof miracles do happen.

The little cat who could, who defied the odds, wandered the Chilcotin wilderness for nearly two years to eventually make it home severely malnourished, but alive — barely.

Puss is the female to a brother named Boots. In 2009 when Connie and her husband Miles, who live off of Dog Creek Road, were called to Victoria for work they sent the pair to live with their daughter in the Nemiah Valley. But soon they were being “terrorized” by the resident dog.

To remedy the situation, the Faulkners considered taking the pair to Victoria with them but before they could do so Puss disappeared.

That was during the winter of 2009, Connie says. The Faulkners were saddened by the news and assumed she had been taken by a predator.

They took Boots home but frequently and fondly remembered Puss, never expecting to see her again. So in January when Connie received a call from the Williams Lake B.C. SPCA with news of Puss she was understandably in utter disbelief.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Connie says. “It has to be Puss but I’m thinking, how can that be possible? We said it’s a miracle; it’s just a miracle.”

Connie knew there was no denying it was her Puss because the cat had been identified through an embedded chip that was encoded with Connie’s name and phone number.

Connie was told that Puss was picked up in Alexis Creek by a home owner who said she felt sorry for the cat that was hanging around her house. A site for sore eyes, the nearly four-year-old feline weighed a meagre one pound, was covered in small pieces of electrical tape and dragged one of her back legs as she walked.

A check up by a local vet revealed there was nothing more seriously wrong than malnutrition; Puss was shaved, to clean up her mangy fur, and taken home to recuperate.

For two weeks, Connie says, she lay by her food dish.

“She laid on the mat by the door and she wouldn’t come to us. She wouldn’t have anything to do with anybody. … She just ate and lay there.”

Connie says she’s starting to warm up to the family now, becoming reacquainted with her old friend, the family’s German Shepherd, and laying with Boots. Things are slowly returning to normal but Puss is not keen to return to the outdoors so the family has re-established a litter box; they’ve also returned to some of their old and favourite routines.

“This morning we lit a fire in the fireplace and that’s what we always did, is sit in front of our fireplace and have coffee in the morning with the two cats, and Puss always slept on my shoulder and Boots on my lap.

She came in to the living room this morning and jumped up on the hassock between my husband and I and just laid here and thought, ‘Oh, I am so home’.”