A black cat and a collie each travel hundreds of miles to get back home to their owners.
In May of 1992, the Riesgraf family went camping at Bear Head Lake State Park, Minnesota. According to Susan Riesgraf, they brought along their dogs, a collie named Lady, and Wolfka, a Belgian shepherd.
The family had been to the cabin a couple of times. They felt perfectly safe letting the dogs out on their own. Normally, Lady and Wolfka returned within an hour. But this time they didn’t return at all. The next day, a forest fire erupted just a few miles southwest of the cabin. Flames were headed in their direction and they had to evacuate immediately.
The fire burned out of control for three days, consuming more than 9,000 acres. From their home in Duluth, 100 miles away, the Riesgrafs waited for news that the dogs had been found. John Riesgraf:
Then, almost two weeks after Lady disappeared, a hungry, scruffy collie wandered up to a house on the outskirts of Duluth. Susan Riesgraf said she received a phone call:
The Riesgrafs never learned the fate of their other dog, Wolfka. They hope he was perhaps adopted by a caring stranger. Meanwhile, they continue to marvel at Lady’s return. But dogs aren’t the only pets that show this remarkable instinct.
Sue Anderson of Baltimore, Maryland, has been an animal lover for as long as she can remember. In the spring of 1992, she packed for a cross-country move. The last things she loaded were her most valued possessions: her five beloved cats:
Sue traveled with her brother, who was also moving west. As for the cats, Sue said it was the first time they’d been farther from home than the local vet:
After 10 days on the road, Sue and her brother reached California. They stopped to rest for the night, 200 miles from Modesto, their final destination. They planned to sleep until daybreak before pushing on. Sue awoke to discover Nova was gone:
Sue said she and her brother searched for an hour without any luck:
When Sue told a co-worker about Nova, he gave her a picture of a black cat as a memento:
A full year later, on July 16, 1993, Sue came across two stray cats outside of work. One resembled Nova. Could Nova have traveled 250 miles to find her? Sue Anderson thinks she did:
How do we explain Nova’s incredible journey? Noted animal behaviorist Miriam Yarden has a theory:
Sue Anderson has said love is the key: