10:07 AM EST, January 22, 2013
A cat named Holly survived a journey that defied explanation.
It began when Jacob Richter of West Palm Beach, Florida took his four-year-old tortoise-shell feline on a road trip to a recreational vehicle park in Daytona Beach, nearly 200 miles from home, and she ran away.
The impulsive little feline was off and running. Jacob and his wife put up missing cat posters everywhere and searched the area for two days before giving up and heading home.
Jacob said, “I was devastated."
Flash-forward two months. A Florida woman, who lives less than a mile from the Richter’s, sees a scrawny cat wandering in her yard.
Barb Mazzola said, "She was barely walking. She was crying. We gave her a little food...She was starving."
Mazzola took photos of the emaciated cat, and figured she was a stray. But the stunning truth emerged when a veterinarian checked to see if she was micro chipped.
Low and behold, the cat turned out to be Holly. Incredibly, she managed to walk all the way from Daytona Beach to West Palm Beach, a distance of nearly 200 miles!
Veterinarian Sara Beg could barely believe it.
Sara said, "The bottoms of her feet were quite raw and red, mostly likely from her long walk."
How did Holly make it all the way back? She apparently navigated her way by tracking interstate 95 to the right, keeping the Atlantic Ocean always to her left.
Sara said, "This is a very rare case that it did happen and it's pretty amazing that she did make it this far."
For the woman who rescued Holly, it's a bittersweet story.
Barb said, "I'd fallen in love with her after taking care of her for a week!"
But she can always visit the miracle cat that walked 200 miles to come home.