Harriet has been missing for almost 10 years, and it is still unknown how she got from California to Hayden, Idaho.

HAYDEN, Idaho – It was an ordinary Monday afternoon in Sanger, Calif., when the phone rang at Susan Moore’s home.

It was a conversation she remembers well.

“We found your cat,” the caller said.

“My cat?” Moore replied.

Moore wasn’t sure what it was about.

“Excuse me?” she said. “Which cat are you talking about?”

“We found your cat,” the caller repeated. “I’m calling from Hayden. I have your cat.’

Still confused, Moore, a California girl, said she was unfamiliar with Hayden, California.

“That’s because we’re in Idaho,” the caller said.

After further explanation, Moore was convinced that the cat in question was hers, one named Harriet, who went missing nine years ago from their country home, according to our news partners, Coeur d’Alene Publishers.

Nearly a decade later, he turned up on Prairie Avenue in Hayden, found Sept. 19 by a passerby and brought to the Companion Animal Center, formerly the Kootenay Humane Society.

The cat, described as cute and in good health, was scanned for a microchip.

“We called the owner,” KHS Director of Development Vicki Nelson said. “When they answered and we told them we had their cat, they were speechless.”

So how did Harriet get from California to Idaho? There is no unequivocal answer.

“It’s hard to say,” Nelson said.

Moore speculates that maybe she snuck aboard her husband’s horse trailer, jumped out when he got to his rodeo, and someone found her. Or maybe a neighbor came across her in the country, took her in, then moved to Idaho.

Unless someone claims Harriet, she will be reunited with Moore.

Her brother moved to Lewiston in January and is going to go to KHS this weekend to pick up Harriet and then fly her to California.

“She’s not going to remember me,” Moore said.

Still, she’ll happily welcome her back to their 41-acre ranch and hopes she’ll get along with their barn cats, two dogs, and several horses.

“She must be someone else’s cat,” Moore said.

There remains a bond between them.

Moore rescued Harriet when she was a kitten at a shelter 11 years ago. The family had just moved to the country and wanted a good barn cat, which Harriet turned out to be.

But soon after the fix, she got sick, almost died, and recovered after a visit to the vet.

“My free cat cost me $400,” Moore said, laughing.

Harriet rewarded her loyalty. She roamed the grounds and kept it free of rodents.

When she went missing, Moore searched around their home, checking lost pet websites and contacting shelters.

“I tried everything,” she said.

Harriet was missing – her husband assumed she had been taken by coyotes – until KHS called.

While glad to hear Harriet is alive and well, Moore said someone in Idaho must be missing her, and she hopes they come forward.

“I’d like to leave her where she is,” Moore said. “She really doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to someone else.”

While Harriet’s whereabouts have been unknown for the past decade, Moore is certain of one thing about his old and now new feline friend:

“She definitely has nine lives.”

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