Mittens the Cat Takes a Four Month Journey to Reunite with His Family


After getting lost, Mittens walked a long way toward home before a kind person took him in and reunited him with his family.

Mittens big adventure is today’s happy story. Enjoy!

Excerpt from People

What started as a cozy nap inside a boat four months ago resulted in an incredible journey for a Utah cat, which included a long trek across the Wasatch Mountains in an attempt to be reunited with a family that feared their beloved pet was dead.

Mittens, a black rescue cat with white paws, has been with the Flitton family of Mountain Green, Utah, since he was adopted as a kitten in 2012. Last May, Brandon Flitton, 42, dropped his boat off at a repair shop in Salt Lake City, 35 miles away, not realizing that Mittens had sneaked under the cover earlier to take a nap. When mechanics pulled off the cover, the cat jumped out and ran away.

“When we heard what had happened, we put signs up everywhere and went looking for him,” Cyndi Flitton, 43, tells PEOPLE. “We hoped that he’d recognize our voices and come running because he’s such a sociable, friendly cat.”

Cyndi tried to comfort her daughter, Allison, 14, by telling her that Mittens had probably found a good home with a family in the neighborhood near the boat shop.

“But I figured he was gone forever,” says Allison, “and I worried about him a lot. I didn’t think I’d ever see him again.”

Mittens, though, had other ideas.

An outdoor cat with a love for hunting mice and voles and leaving them on the Flittons’ porch as “tokens of love,” Mittens was discovered last month in Alice Puleo’s yard in Park City, Utah, 32 miles east of the boat shop.

“I was unloading groceries and this cat came down the pathway and announced that he was hungry in no uncertain terms,” says Puleo, 60. “He was very skinny and looked a little beat up. He needed some love and attention.”

After taking the cat in, “he ate constantly for four days and slept on a deck chair outside,” Puleo tells PEOPLE. “I made calls and put up signs, but nobody responded. So finally, I decided to take him in to my vet.”

Carl Prior, a veterinarian with the Park City Animal Clinic, scanned Mittens and discovered he had a microchip with the Flittons’ phone number.

“I was stunned — I couldn’t believe it,” says Cyndi when she received a call from Dr. Prior. “How in the world did he end up in Park City?”

Prior told her that he believed the cat had walked, crossing several mountains in the process.

“He was thin for his large frame and the pads of his feet were inflamed and had abrasions,” Prior tells PEOPLE, “and some of his nails were damaged and needed care. I believe that Mittens navigated the streets of Salt Lake City from the west side to the east side, where the mountains begin. From there, he was probably more comfortable with the terrain and instinctively knew which way to go.”

Eventually, he says, “I’ll bet that Mittens would have found his way back home without our help. He’s a real miracle cat. I only wish he had a GPS tracker so we could follow his great adventure.”

My Kit the Kat once ventured into my packed van without me noticing. The temperature was around 100 degrees. He spent all day in the van and was almost dead when I found him and revived him.

Be careful to check for cats. They do stupid things.

There’s more of Mittens story and pictures at People magazine.

24 thoughts on “Mittens the Cat Takes a Four Month Journey to Reunite with His Family

  1. Lovely story! Something positive amid the recent rise if of insanity. All summer I earn of dangers of hot cars and in winter I always advise to make sure a cat hasn’t found warmth in cars engine area as they are known to do.

      • I’ve heard horror stories growing up in NJ/NYC area about winter & cats. Sounds like you are an animal lover as well. Feel free to check out my GSD’s blog on WP. I recently transitioned it over from FB as that simply wasn’t the venue for me. Hope I made the right choice as she has several hundred followers and in WP I think she has 4…. hahaha

      • Wait till you see the latest post which I put on both blogs. I’ve been manipulated but the true victim is an innocent dog!

      • The entire planet suffers horribly because mankind is not a good Stewart of this responsibility.
        In the case of dogs, where mistreatment is a psychotic focus.. nay. Better said, where the psychotic focus is mistreatment is only the tip of this malady
        Consider roadkill: the poor Deer, for example are hit while attempting to cross the road. It is slammed, many times off to the side where it begins the painful…slow…death of injury and dehydration. It’s eyes are plucked out by scavengers before it succumbs to death. No one cares. Officers ( Rangers) tell me that these incidents often go unreported because the driver may be drunk, driving without “proper papers” or just incivility
        The evidence that people leave the road to hit other animals is overwhelming. It will make you angry to multiply the road kill you see by the miles of highways and byways here in America, alone, much less worldwide.
        Is there anyone going to the kingdom of God? Is there anyone?

      • Yes I forgot to add wheel wells. About the Twitter PJ? Inquiring minds want to know. Did you see the hilarious video of the debate? Party neutral but someone adept at media made it into the theme song from an 80’s movie. Gave me quite the chuckle.

    • The road kill issue disturbs me more than I can convey. Upon moving to the Western Mountains of Maine from a more urban area, I was shocked beyond belief at the things I saw as well as the response by the “authorities”. My first summer I began to hike my land. One day late August I came upon a pile of hardened donuts in my woods ~ just sitting in a pile. I did a reality check to make sure I wasn’t having an out of body experience. I worked 3-11 and that evening mentioned my find. One of the nurses piped in and told me “Oh that’s just how they bait the bears”. I literally stalked her the rest of the night to learn more of this practice. I do not hunt but also do not protest and preach to those that engage in it. I do however have a problem with baiting bear and setting a pack of dogs on it. And I especially have an issue when someone uses my property (have over 50 acres) to hunt period. I actually called out of work the next day as it was my last day before the w/end and spent all three days posting an putt up an impromptu fence in the area I believed they were entering. Luckily I found my “baiter” ~ my neighbor who was a registered hunting guide. As the late summer gave way to fall I literally cringed every time I pulled out of my driveway as he had small cabins for out of state hunters who would book a week with him. He had a large rack/pole in his front yard and there was always an animal hanging from it. I often saw the hunters posing for pictures. I also spent many early mornings chasing away hunters who would drive up my driveway as it looks like a logging road; steep and disappears into the mountain. By winter I actually regretted the move. The next spring (which in Maine is April) I pulled out of driveway and was visually assaulted by the site of a dead horse lying in neighbors yard. He and his wife wintered in FL plus they only had hunting dogs. I called the authorities and was told “Oh people drop of their large dead livestock and such to XXX so he can use the body for his dogs”. My lips to God’s ear the truth. The horse was there for days and each one enraged me more. I called the local selectmen and demanded something be done only to be told it’s private property and he’ll be back soon anyway”. The school bus stops by his house and I told them that children were exposed to this every morning and afternoon to which they laughed and said “This is Maine. Kids see dead animals all the time”. I shot back that maybe this is true of dead bear etc but not My Little Pony lying and decomposing! I left for work early and stopped to buy several large blue tarps. My goal was after I arrived home at 2400, I was going to walk down and cover the horse with the tarps and put rocks to anchor them down. To my surprise however there were lights on in the house so I knew he’d returned. I called him in the am and asked if he was going to cover the horse to which he said “Hell I’m gonna cut it up”. When I left for work it was gone but in it’s place was a large organ. I had my moment of clarity in that I knew I was NOT going to stay here. Then the market crashed and here I am ~ still hoping to get out of Dodge. BTW, he died a most tragic death in FL the next year on the morning he and his wife were to begin their return to Maine.
      Sorry to hijack your page PJ…

      • Yes unfortunately. As I’ve always said, I do not attempt to force my personal values or belief system on others but have become more vocal about humane treatment of animals since moving to this state. Want to hear something funny? Despite my extremely fair complexion I favor solid color clothing, black or dark grey. I’m a hiker but when time is short I opt to walk the 2 lane county road that meets my driveway along with my with my GSDs. Now my wardrobe consists of neon green, fluorescent yellow and more orange than I can count. Even my dogs wear orange bandanas and depending on the weather because GSDs have dense coats, an orange vest. We also have a variety of blinking lights which we share (I even attach one to my ponytail). Hunting seasons in Maine seem to last for the greater part of the year and I always hear gunshots. I fear for our safety thus wait for it………Orange is The New Black in this household. All joking aside, you should see some of my Twitter rants. I can in all honesty say that I am subjected to the sound of gunfire almost 7 days/week. Weekends it often begins around 0800 and continues till dark. During Thanksgiving dinner last year we were serenaded by guns and firecrackers ~ what a joy! In the summer and fall they light firecrackers and between gunshots and firecrackers I’ve had to close windows and put on the AC just to have peace. If you follow my Vegetarian Gammy check out my post from last July 4th. I was so enraged I could barely type. I never dreamed in a million years when I bought this lovely property that my little section of paradise would in reality become a nightmare. Ending on a positive note, over the years I have managed to turn my property into a safe haven for wildlife. Because the side of my house almost abuts the mountain, the snow drifts and is extremely high in winter. I’ve made an elevated stand that has a salt block etc on it so they can go to it. I also learned NOT to hang squirrel feeders by my house as it created an invasion of red squirrels one year. Will share that story one day.
        Here is the hunting dates in Maine. Just glancing at then you will see why the deep frigid weather of January and February has become my new favorite months. So I took up snowshoeing!

      • I told my daughter today that now that things with my GSD Sasha are falling into place and I’m not on the road so much (her specialists are a 4 hour round trip) plus I’m no longer actively “working” social media for an individual dog owner due to some recent manipulation, I’m going to start blogging on Gammy more. I’m not nearly as gifted a writer as you, PJ or many others but I manage to get the point across. The red squirrel invasion was the first time I was forced to use a gun on a living creature but they got to the wiring. I remember many house fires in the city (I worked in Philadelphia after undergrad) from rats chewing on wires and both my research and talks with Fish & Game indicated that the red squirrel (not the grey) and rats shared similar destructive traits. They started coming into the second story and then the downstairs great room via heater ducts. My lips to God’s ear I’ll NEVER forget the time I got up at 0700 and upon entering the bathroom, found a yellow post-it note from my daugher on the closed toilet lid that said “Crittter in toilet” (she leaves for work at 0600). Walked into Walmart a few hours later and bought ammunition for my . 22 rifle. I should say that I own several guns and am a fairly good marksman and actually extremely good with moving targets. But until the red squirrel invasion I’d never shot an animal but I was desperate. I’d had rodent people here to find their point of entry (I live in a 2 story log home), has the suspected places professionally sealed. I tried everything for over a year but when they began to invade again the next winter my fear of fire trumped my disdain of shooting an animal. I started getting up extremely early, discovered their pattern of exiting, formed an alliance with my neighbors cat and began. I actually cried the first few times and wailed “I CAN’T DO THIS” but as I wrote the fear of a house fire claiming the lives of my dogs while I was at work got me through it. I did it again the next winter and then it stopped. I imagine they told all the squirrels in the hood to avoid my house. Someday I’ll write on Gammy how my daughter and I spent over 10 hours trying to get a flying squirrel out of my house complete with photos! I just never encountered these problems in NJ; it was gangbangers trying to intimidate you on the subway etc. Now them I can handle ~ critters invading my house, not so much.

      • As log as they are valid. Still stinging from recent manipulation, the third in a row. My new plan is to not openly engage in a single event unless it is so egregious ( Ishmael Zamora) that I am morally bound to speak.

  2. Being a cat lover, I can always count on cat and dog videos and stories to lift my spirits in an otherwise world filled with insanity and psychopaths. I once had a 20 pound tuxedo cat named “MIttens”….a real sweetie

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