Cocci Cat Reunited France
The Independent via YouTube

Cat Walks Across Country To Reunite With Family – 13 Months & 280+ Miles Later

Stories

| LAST UPDATE 01/03/2023

By Lily Tipton

Laëtitia wondered how her family would cope with their move across the country. But it was actually her cat Cocci who took it the hardest and abruptly vanished. That is, until she stumbled back into their lives months later…

One Happy Family

Laëtitia De Amicis lived with her family in Ambly-Sur-Meuse, in the Orne region of France. The happy family consisted of her husband, two teenage children, and three cats - Felys, Crapaud, and Cocci.

Laëtitia De Amicis Cat CocciLaëtitia De Amicis Cat Cocci
Laëtitia De Amicis via Facebook

Everything was peaceful, and the family was hopeful everything would stay that way. They had no idea that within a few months, they would be rocked by loss and heartbreak. Then, just when they would lose all hope, they would witness an incredible miracle and have an unbelievable story to share with their family and friends.

Hard Decision

Their story began in July 2021, when Laëtitia was offered a relocation opportunity by her work. Although the new placement came with a considerable salary raise, the mother of two was unsure whether this was the best decision for her family. Yes, they could do with the extra money, but there were other factors to consider.

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Laëtitia De Amicis via Facebook

Laëtitia worried about how the children and cats would be impacted by the move. Everyone was happy and comfortable in their current home, and it may not end well should they shake things up and put the children and pets in a new environment. The parents debated what to do...

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Thinking Ahead

After much back and forth, the couple finally decided to relocate the family. They understood and were prepared for it to be a difficult adjustment period. Still, it would ultimately all calm down, and they would benefit from greater financial stability in the long run.

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Laëtitia De Amicis via Facebook

Although their teenage children were initially hesitant about transporting their lives, they soon grew excited about the potential new adventures across the country in Ginai, Normandy, France. Although the cats could not express their opinions on the matter, Laëtitia prayed they would also be on board.

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Taking Precautions

After traveling across the country and arriving in their new home, the De Amicis family immediately drew up a plan of action to ensure a smooth readjustment for their cats. They understood that the felines didn't know the new area, and they worried about what they might do under the stress of the unfamiliarity.

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@cocci_le_chat via Instagram

Most importantly, the family didn't want the cats to walk around the neighborhood on their own and not be able to find their way back. So, they took great care to lock the doors when they weren't home and supervised them carefully when they allowed them out in the garden or street to play.

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August 2021

On August 21, 2021, Laëtitia De Amicis came downstairs and gasped when she saw that Cocci was missing from her bed. The other two cats were sitting there unknowingly, but Cocci was nowhere to be found. She gulped hard when she saw the open window behind them, knowing exactly what that meant.

Missing Animal Reunited InspiringMissing Animal Reunited Inspiring
@cocci_le_chat via Instagram

To the family's shock and horror, Cocci had climbed through the window in the middle of the night and left their new home. Immediately their minds raced over where she had gone to and the dangers she may face. They all cried as they imagined a life without Cocci in it. They needed to find her quickly.

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Facing the Facts

Considering the negative statistics regarding lost pets, it's understandable why the family was concerned when they realized Cocci was missing. As noted by Peeva.com, "1 out of 3 pets become lost at some point in their lifetime, and close to 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the US every single year."

Missing Pets Statistics AnimalsMissing Pets Statistics Animals
@georgetownanimalshelter via Instagram

They also note that "One-third of all dogs and cats in the United States are reported missing in their lifetimes, more than 80% are never found, and between 9,450,000 and 9,632,000 pets that wind up in shelters in the US are killed." The facts and figures were not on their side.

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The Search

With that, the search for Cocci officially began. Immediately, Laëtitia and the children contacted all of their new neighbors and friends and asked them to help with their mission to bring Cocci home. People were walking the local streets calling her name, but it had all led to dead ends.

Ginai Normandy France CatGinai Normandy France Cat
Rennett Stowe via Wikimedia Commons

With the initial foot search running out of momentum, the family turned towards alternative methods for finding Cocci. They printed posters to stick on trees and notice boards, and each published heartfelt pleas on their Facebook pages. They sat desperately by the phone, waiting for tips to come in.

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A Promising Thought

As the weeks passed by, with no promising leads, the entire family started to lose hope. As devastated as Laëtitia was, it was her kids that seemed to be taking it the hardest. She thought deeply about what she could do or say to ease their pain and finally settled on an idea.

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@cocci_le_chat via Instagram

Laëtitia told her children that the cat must have returned to their old home because she liked their old neighborhood better. Of course, she didn't believe or think this was actually true, but she was a mom, and she would say or do whatever it took to comfort her children and help them come to terms with their missing pet.

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Moving On

After three months of heavy searching, the family made a group decision to finally give up on the mission and put it all behind them. The other cats needed love, care, and attention, and they couldn't neglect them any longer while searching for the missing feline.

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Laëtitia De Amicis via Facebook

Cocci always remained in their hearts and at the back of their minds, but they needed to move on if they wanted to settle into their new home properly. They officially lost hope of ever finding her and told themselves that she was happier wherever she was.

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A Cat Is Found

Almost a year had passed since the family had closed the Cocci chapter, and now, on October 2, 2022, it was forced back open. While scrolling through a Facebook group named 'Pet Alert,' Laetitias came across a cat picture post that grabbed her attention.

Missing Pet Alert CatMissing Pet Alert Cat
France 3 Normandie

280 miles away from their new home, a cat had been found by a stranger, and she had attached an accompanying photograph. While she initially got excited that it might be their long-lost pet, the mom told The Global Herald she wasn't too hopeful because it "looked completely different."

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A Glimmer of Hope

The most promising part of the story was the fact the cat had been found six miles from their former home in a town called Souilly. Of course, that could just be a coincidence, but something was telling Laëtitia that the facts were connected and it had been Cocci's attempt to return to her old home.

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France 3 Normandie

She was nervous to tell her daughters about her theory, fearful she would get their hopes up prematurely and falsely. So, for now, she made the decision to deal with the situation alone. The first step would be to reach out to the stranger and ask some further questions.

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Professional Opinion

Laëtitia asked the kind woman if she would be willing to take the cat to a vet to find out some more information. The stranger agreed and agreed to hold Laëtitia on the line while she was there. She waited nervously by the phone for the results and couldn't believe what she heard next.

Cocci Cat Reunited FranceCocci Cat Reunited France
France 3 Normandie

According to the veterinary practitioner, the cat was 10 years old, just like Cocci. While that was already enough to spark hope in Laëtitia, there was actually more good news to come. The vet informed them that the cat was spayed, and so was Cocci. So far, the facts were promising, and they discussed the next steps.

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Sending Dad

The two women decided it would be best for the family to come and see the cat in the flesh. Only by looking at the cat in real life would they be able to tell if it was Cocci. Laëtitia, however, was unable to travel and visit the cat that week due to work requirements, so she sent her dad on her behalf.

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The Independent via YouTube

She was hoping that the photos had not done the cat justice and he would tell her that, in reality, she highly resembled Cocci. Dad, however, was incredibly skeptical and told his daughter she was naive to think their cat had traveled 280 miles away across the country from their home. Still, he agreed to go and check it out.

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An Incredible Sight

When Laëtitia picked up her phone and saw that her dad was video calling her, she fully assumed he was about to tell her the source was a dead end. She could already hear him saying he told her so and that it had all been an unrealistic thing to imagine in the first place.

Cocci Cat Reunited FranceCocci Cat Reunited France
The Independent via YouTube

However, her heart skipped a beat when she picked up and saw him smiling into the camera. Did he have good news to tell her? Seconds later, her father zoomed out the camera, and she could see him on the screen cuddling the cat. Was that Cocci? It certainly seemed so.

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Final Checks

From her father's face, it seemed that he believed it was their family cat. But now it was Laëtitia that was nervous and hesitant, and she needed her father to conduct another check for her. She asked him to call the cat by a variety of different names and see what she responded to.

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France 3 Normandie

She watched closely on the camera to see how the cat would respond. "Jack!" "Tommy," her father called out to the unresponsive cat. Then, finally, he called "Cocci!" To everyone's shock and surprise, the cat immediately turned around, seemingly recognizing her name had been said.

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Emotional Reunion

Upon seeing her cat move at the sound of her name, Laëtitia burst into tears. She then called over her daughter and showed her what was on the camera. As soon as the daughter looked at the screen, she recognized who she was looking at. "It's Cocci," her mother confirmed.

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France 3 Normandie

She smiled as she watched her daughter's face light up with excitement. The two of them were incredibly emotional, crying over the fact that this unbelievable thing had taken place. They had entirely lost hope, and now, out of nowhere, Cocci had returned to their lives.

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Remaining Hesitation

Laëtitia and her daughter ran to tell the rest of the family about the exciting news. However, they were disappointed to see the son's unfazed expression. Upon hearing the whole story, he was skeptical about its credibility and told them they were imagining crazy things.

Cocci Cat Reunited FranceCocci Cat Reunited France
France 3 Normandie

Still, when Laëtitia told him they were going to pick her up as a family, he agreed to come along for the ride and see for himself. "My son was very skeptical," she told The Global Herald. She wasn't angry with her son, though, understanding it was his way of protecting his feelings should something go wrong.

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Second Thoughts

The family packed up the car and set off towards their old town to potentially reunite with their pet. As they drove up toward the stranger's home, everyone began to grow concerned this had all gone too far, and they had gotten carried away with the excitement.

Laëtitia De Amicis Cat CocciLaëtitia De Amicis Cat Cocci
LE20H via YouTube

What if they got there and it had all been one misunderstanding and mistake? How would they handle the disappointment if Cocci didn't recognize them? They allowed their minds to wander with worst-case scenarios, at the same time hoping none of them would come true.

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Moment of Truth

When they arrived, they excitedly walked into the home to come face-to-face with the cat. They had put the moment off long enough, and now it was time to find out whether their cat had traveled to their old home. They had prepared themselves for the inevitable disappointment of the cat not recognizing her old family.

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France 3 Normandie

However, as soon as they entered the room and looked the cat in her eyes, there was no doubt in their hearts or minds that it was Cocci sitting in front of them. Confirming what they already knew, Cocci ran over to them and into their arms. It was an unbelievable reunion that they had never believed would happen.

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Nursing Back to Health

Once the moment's excitement had calmed down, the family took time to examine their cat and were concerned by what they saw. Cocci seemed to be severely underweight and very weak, presumably from the long journey she had undergone. They got her into their car and headed over to the local vet.

Cocci Cat Reunited FranceCocci Cat Reunited France
The Independent via YouTube

They understood she needed urgent medical care before they could bring her back home. The vet inspected the cat and informed them she had a face infection as well as fleas and worms. She weighed a staggering 2 pounds and would need to remain under medical supervision until she gained it back.

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Bringing Her Home

Finally, after three long, stressful weeks, the vet informed the family she was pleased with the cat's progress and confirmed Cocci was ready to go home. They excitedly packed the cat back up in her cage and loaded her into the car. It was time for her to return to where she belonged.

Cocci Cat Reunited FranceCocci Cat Reunited France
The Independent via YouTube

Laëtitia told The Global Herald that the cat was silent the entire way home and did not seem to show any emotions. To be fair, the whole family had been stunned into silence, all feeling overwhelmed by the entire saga. It had been a series of ups and downs, leaving them exhausted mentally and physically.

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Settling Back In

After thirteen months away from the family home, Laëtitia was worried that Cocci would find it difficult to slip back into the family home along with her feline and human brothers and sisters. But, to their surprise, Cocci adjusted incredibly quickly.

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@cocci_le_chat via Instagram

Within days, it started to feel like Cocci had never left. She was happy and healthy and played with everyone in the family. "Since we brought her home, all is going well," Cocci's mum told The Global Herald. "She adapted again really well and is very cuddly."

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Unbelievable Story

All in all, the De Amicis family could not believe the story that had taken place. Moreover, they were unable to fathom the fact that it had happened to them and their pet cat. "It's unbelievable. I still can't believe it." Laëtitia exclaimed to The Global Herald.

Cocci Cat Reunited FranceCocci Cat Reunited France
@cocci_le_chat via Instagram

Their cat had traveled over 280 miles in search of her old family home, longing for the family life she was missing. But if she had just stuck it out in the new Ginai home, she would have come to see that nothing had really changed and the family still loved her in the same way.

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Press Coverage

As soon as word spread of this remarkable traveling cat, people wanted to hear more. How exactly had she made it through the difficult journey? How had she known where to go? There were so many unanswered questions, and many media publications were desperate to get the inside scoop.

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France 3 Normandie

Pictures of Cocci and her mother appeared in numerous national newspapers alongside the retelling of their miraculous reunion. The French news channel France 3 Normandy even did a video coverage report of the story, interviewing the family and showing footage of Cocci safe at home.

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Keeping Up With Cocci

Within minutes of the reports going public, Laëtitia received hundreds of messages from kindhearted strangers wanting to hear how Cocci was doing. They were all curious to see how she had settled back into the family home and how she was recovering from her dangerous adventure in the outside world.

Cocci Cat Reunited FranceCocci Cat Reunited France
@cocci_le_chat via Instagram

After answering the first few messages, Laëtitia had a wonderful idea. She decided to make an Instagram account dedicated to her cat, so those who were interested could follow along with Cocci and the rest of her family. Under the username @cocci_le_chat, she uploads videos and photos of Cocci living her best life.

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Not the Only One

As unbelievable and miraculous as Cocci's story was, many would be surprised to hear that she is not the first pet to take to the streets in search of its owner. While each tale differs slightly, there are many cases of animals weathering the storm over long distances in an attempt to find their human loved ones.

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France 3 Normandie

Cats, in particular, have been found on numerous occasions doing whatever it takes to reunite with their beloved owners. Felines may put on a tough front, but they're known to stay loyal to their owners, no matter the circumstances. One cat named Mayhem, who was unhappy with his living situation, decided to up and leave...

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Meet Mayhem

Mayhem was an outdoor cat adopted by Jill Robertson. The two shared a tight bond for many years, and she cared for him in every way he needed. However, when it was time for her to move houses, she debated whether it was in her pet's best interest for him to come with her.

Mayhem Cat Jill ReunionMayhem Cat Jill Reunion
@mayhem.thecat via Instagram

Her new home was located on a very busy street, and she worried Mayhem would not have enough space to roam around and be free without coming in danger with oncoming traffic. As hard as it would be for her to say goodbye, she knew deep down what was best for the feline.

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A New Home

Jill wanted to ensure Mayhem would go to a good home where he would feel the love and attention her family had given him. After a thorough search, she was excited to find a farm that agreed to adopt him. After checking out the site, she was pleased to see he was moving to a safe and open environment along with other cats.

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@mayhem.thecat via Instagram

Within a few days, Jill and Mayhem had both settled into their respective new homes. Jill missed her cat greatly but told herself repeatedly he was happier on the farm. Little did she know Mayhem was missing her as much, and he had an adventurous plan to reunite with his owner.

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A Familiar Meow

Three weeks after Jill had moved to Rutherfordton, North Carolina, she sat down on her outside porch and looked into the distance. A sudden noise disturbed her mindless thoughts, and she looked around to see who or what was behind it. As she walked over, she couldn't believe her eyes. It was Mayhem.

Mayhem Cat Jill ReunionMayhem Cat Jill Reunion
@mayhem.thecat via Instagram

"I walked over to the fence and called to him because I couldn't see anything, and he came bounding under the fence," Jill told thedodo.com. Although Mayhem had never been to Jill's new home before, he had somehow found his way back into his owner's arms. "It is just a miracle to me," cried Jill.

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"Defies All Logic"

In order to be sure there had been no misunderstanding, Jill made a call to the farm to confirm that Mayhem was not there. To her surprise and delight, they informed her that he had been missing for a few days. One look at the dirty, skinny Mayhem, and it was clear it had been a long, treacherous six-mile trip home.

Mayhem Cat Jill ReunionMayhem Cat Jill Reunion
@mayhem.thecat via Instagram

Mayhem's story differs from most in the fact that he had returned to an unfamiliar location. According to veterinarian Kimberley Lednum, "it defies all logic." A delighted Jill told publications it was a display of his true feelings and love, and she would no doubt welcome him back into the family.

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