Julie the cat ran away from home in 2012, but her memory remained a steel trap over her six-year absence.
Jon Gulla, Julie's owner, had a rough 2012. Shortly after Julie bolted from the house, Gulla was diagnosed with lymphoma.
"She just ran, and I couldn't find her," said Lorinda Roberts, Gulla's mother, about Julie.
"I was just beside myself, going up and down Keystone (looking for her)."
The cat had disappeared.
But the family never fully gave up hope.
Roberts told Current in Carmel:
"Every once in a while you find that needle in a haystack. I was looking for a needle, not a piece of hay. I thought maybe there was a 1 percent chance."
And six years later, that needle appeared in the form of a "lost cat" ad. One feline. Older, black, declawed, and near the area Julie disappeared. Could it be?
Christine McKeon, a neighbor of the family, had been feeding the stray, who had lodged herself under their shed for shelter.
"She wasn't that friendly. She wouldn't come running up to us."
However, when Gulla and Roberts arrived, Julie came out of the shed right away and ran up to them.
Gulla immediately recognized the white spot on Julie's belly, and called out her name. That was all it took for them to be reunited.
In the six years Julie was missing, a lot has happened in Gulla's life. He was declared cancer free, and he's gotten married.
Julie's life hasn't been bad either. It seems that, after she ran away, an unexpectedly kind soul took her in.
"Someone must've taken care of her. Her fur was soft. There is a problem with her tail, but she doesn't look like she's banged up or anything."
Now that man and cat are reunited, however, both of them are sure to have better lives.
Dogs are known as man's best friend and have a special bond with their humans, but cats are more likely to know their owners by scent and sound after a significant period of time. All Julie needed was the sound of Gulla's voice to recognize him.
All you cat people out there, hug your feline friends a little bit closer tonight. Know that they love you and, even after six years, would come running back to be in your arms.