Story by Lisa Rice
When Molly the Calico Cat went missing from her home on Darin Rd. in Warwick NY in June of 2016, the Tate family feared the worst. Not typically a wanderer, the very large Molly had last been seen lounging on the porch and then had vanished. Kathryn Tate searched around the neighborhood with no success.
“We thought coyotes got her,” said Kathryn about the oversized cat. “She has health problems, she’s very large. We figured once she was in the woods, she wouldn’t be able to defend herself.”
Her husband, Tim, called the Warwick Valley Humane Society and left a voicemail message with contact information in case the cat was found. A return call was made, verifying the description was received; a message that Tim saved and still has on his cell phone.
Without any information on Molly’s whereabouts, the family reluctantly accepted the sad fate of the cat they’d raised from a kitten.
“We had to move on,” said Tim.
The family chose not to adopt a new cat at that time. However, as their son, Ben, became a high school senior and was looking at colleges, Kathryn and Ben thought that maybe it was time to invite a new cat into their home.
While waiting for Ben to complete his pre-licensing course, Tim decided to visit the nearby Humane Society.
“I’d never been there before. In all the years I’d lived here, I’d never gone in,” said Tim.
While he was there, a woman came in and said she was checking up to see if her lost pet had been brought in.
“I never thought to stop in and keep stopping in after leaving the message. It didn’t occur to me how busy these people are and how many pets go missing,” said Tim.
And when Tim looked into one of the cages, he came face to face with Molly.
“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. He phoned Kathryn right away and gave her the unimaginable news.
“I was shocked. I’m still shocked,” said Kathryn.
It turns out that Molly, named Norma by the Humane Society staff, had followed a family on a walk to their home in Wickham Village. They brought her into the Humane Society and that’s where she has been ever since.
Her photo has been shared on Petfinder, with the description: “She’s 18 round pounds of calico cattitude and has been homeless for 527 days and counting. She enjoys her food too much and needs a caregiver who won’t give in to her pleading plump face.”
But poor Norma/Molly had not been adopted.
“They took great care of her for so long,” Kathryn said.
“She wasn’t even there the longest,” Tim commented. “They have cats that have been there for ten years. They just take care of them. I never even considered stopping by and taking a look or looking online.”
The Tates were able to bring Molly home the following day on Sun., Feb. 18.
“She knew her way around immediately,” Tim said. “She walked in and knew the layout. She knew she was home.”
Ben commented that it was like living with a ghost. Molly came home just in time to share some big events with the Tate family, as Ben, a Boy Scout with Troop 45, completes his Eagle Scout project, graduates and begins the next chapter of his life at SUNY Purchase this fall.
And will having Molly home help make the “empty nest” a little less empty for Kathryn and Tim. Who knows? Maybe once she’s settled back in, another lucky feline will join her in their happy home.