Meet Bluey, a feisty Essex cat with quite a story to tell.
"We went on vacation in April 2012 and a friend of ours was cat-sitting for us. She let him out and unfortunately we didn't see him again," Michelle Brzoza explained.
The Brzoza family searched for Bluey and alerted neighbors about the missing pet, but say they had little hope of getting him back.
"The first time I realized Bluey was gone, I was like devastated," said David Brzoza, 10. "We used to have two cats-- Bella and Bluey. And when Bluey was gone all we had was this cranky, old, scratchy cat."
Bluey was on the run for months before being picked up as a stray. The Humane Society of Chittenden County renamed him Calvin. And unbeknownst to the Brzozas, their cat was adopted by another family.
"It just felt so bad that we lost this cute, adorable, little cat," David said.
But Bluey's sense of adventure wasn't over. A year later he escaped from his new home. And in September, he ended up at an animal hospital in Burlington, wounded. His adopted family didn't want him back and he returned to the shelter. Coincidentally that's when the Brzozas were looking for a new cat. They started browsing Petfinder and were shocked by one posting.
"I found a picture of this cat that looked remarkably like Bluey, our cat," Michelle said.
"I was like, 'Yeah, you're right. This does look like Bluey,'" David said. "I felt like, could this be a chance to get back my pet?"
The Humane Society says for more exposure it posts pictures of all its strays on both its own website as well as Petfinder, an online database of animals available for adoption.
The Brzozas were reunited with Bluey after proving to the Humane Society the cat they called Calvin, was actually theirs. The kitten that grew up with the kids-- finally back home.
"It's actually amazing to have a cat that we that we lost for a year and a half. I never thought I would get him back," said Genevieve Brzoza, 8.
A holiday miracle this family isn't taking for granted.
"It's just a wonderful gift that we got him," Michelle said, "gift that we got him back."
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