Dot and Ron Moore had a bad feeling.
The new Colony Cove winter homeowners had hit the road Feb. 20, made a couple of pit stops on their way back to Bracey, Va., and still no sign of Twosey, their one-year-old tabby cat.
“I didn’t think anything of it at first,” said Dot Moore, 69. “I thought he was just asleep in his hiding place.”
A visit with friends near Jacksonville who wanted to see the cat confirmed the Moores dread.
“We were devastated,” Moore said.
They’d only had him since September, another country stray that came into their lives.
Now he was gone, but who knew where?
“You get attached,” said Ron Moore, 67. “I said I just hoped some nice ol’ lady gets him and takes care of him.”
Twosey made out fine.
Apparently having taken a real liking to his first winter in Florida, the cat slipped out of the Moores’ vehicle at Colony Cove and hung out for the next six weeks.
Then last Saturday the nice woman Moore hoped for brought Twosey to the Humane Society of Manatee County.
They scanned him, found his microchip data and called his owners.
“We’d given up,” Dot Moore said. “Then we get this call out of the blue.”
Can you say happy?
“They were ecstatic,” said the Humane Society’s Hildy Russell. “Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen often enough because animals are not often microchipped. Even then, some owners don’t update the data.
“It’s heartbreaking when an animal is turned in we know belongs to someone and we have no way of telling. So this is the happiest of endings for everyone involved. We always want to see animals go their loving homes.”
Even after they’ve taken a spontaneous vacation.
The Moores had planned to come back anyway to organize their new Colony Cove digs, but returned sooner.
They were reunited Tuesday when longtime Humane Society volunteer Jane Springrose delivered the AWOL cat.
““He walked right in like he knew exactly where his bowl is,” Dot Moore said.
“I’m just thankful to get him back,” her husband said. “I really am.”
Vin Mannix, local columnist, can be reached at 745-7055, or write him at Bradenton Herald, P.O. Box 921, Bradenton, Fla. 34206 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a phone number for verification.