It's anyone's guess how BooBoo the cat travelled more than 3,000 kilometres from California to Canada, but its American owner says she can't wait to be reunited with her brown tabby, who went missing four years ago.
Ashley Aleman, from Watsonville, Calif., said her mother received a voicemail from a Canadian animal shelter two weeks ago, notifying them that BooBoo had been found alive and well in southern Ontario.
The 21-year-old said the outdoor cat went missing in 2013.
"We have a lot of stray cats around the area, so we were like 'maybe she wandered off with them,'" Aleman said. "And then we finally figured out she was not coming back, so we gave up looking after a while because there was nothing really we could do for her."
Melissa Stolz of the humane society in Guelph, Ont., said BooBoo was brought in as a stray earlier this month. Staff did a routine scan for a microchip, she said, and found one that led to BooBoo's owners in California.
"She came in in wonderful condition, she's been very well taken care of and had no problems at all," Stolz said. "So, clearly there was someone out there who was taking care of her."
Stolz said she first thought that the cat's owners had moved to Canada and forgot to update the microchip information, which she said happens all the time.
"After we discovered the owners are still in California, then we started to wonder what could have happened," Stolz said. "It could have been that maybe she hitched a ride unintentionally, or maybe she got into a transport truck — that has happened before — and she snuck her way across the border."
The other possibility, she said, is someone could have found BooBoo as a stray in California and lost her in Canada.
The truth about BooBoo's adventure may never be known, but Aleman said she's excited to get her cat back this week.
Aleman's mother will be flying to Buffalo, N.Y., on Friday to meet with a Canadian animal protection officer who will drive the cat to the border.
When BooBoo is back, Aleman said her family will work to get the cat reacquainted with its old home. Since BooBoo went missing, the family has adopted another cat and they are hoping they will get along.
But one thing is for sure, Aleman said.
"She'll definitely be an indoor cat this time."