"He ran away, like three weeks ago. He got out of my apartment," stated Krystyn O'Donnell.
Her orange and white short-haired cat was reported missing on October 24 2007 from O'Donnell's Sicklerville NJ apartment. Heathcliff reappeared November 9th when a resident had trapped him and brought him to a local animal shelter and he was identified by his microchip. O'Donnell, who lives next to the Atlantic City Expressway had figured her 2 year-old cat was done for after he hadn't returned in a few days.
On Friday, November 16, she was shocked to get a phone call from the Gwinnett Animal Enforcement and Wellness Center. They had found that Heathcliff had been reported missing when they checked on his microchip information. O'Donnell had adopted Heathcliff in February from a local animal shelter and the chip had been placed in him at that time. The officials though who called wanted to know if O'Donnell had recently moved to Georgia since that is where Heathcliff showed up.....more than 700 miles from his home.
Everyone involved knew that he hadn't walked there but it wasn't until a woman called in response to his story on television that the mystery of his travels was revealed. That woman had come to the same apartment complex where O'Donnell lived to clear out the belongings of a man who had passed away recently. She stated that a cat had kept jumping into the truck while she was loading things and when she got ready to hit the road, she thought it had finally gone.
Heathcliff evidently hadn't because she stated that she heard what she though was a cat's meow about six hours into the trip but still couldn't find a cat. She did find him when she arrived in Georgia and attempted to keep him but he ran away. It was after that, the couple in Lawrenceville GA trapped him and turned him in. To add to the good luck, that woman hadn't personally seen the story, it was her granddaughter in South Jersey who happened to see the part of the story that included an interview with the doctor O'Donnell works for. Her granddaughter goes to that same doctor.
As for the traveling cat with Georgia on his mind...... he will begin his trip home on Thursday with a veterinarian who is making the trip north already with some other animals. Kystyn and Heathcliff will be reunited on Friday if all goes well with the trip.