Willow the Cat

Posted on September 17, 2011


Willow the Cat’s story is another amazing example of why animal rescue stories always fascinate me.

I first learned about Willow’s story via this Huffington Post share of Jim Fitzgerald’s story for AP. I tweeted it and my tweet was retweeted by several of my friends. At the time, I was the second or third “tweet” via the HuffPo Twitter-sharing tool (that’s not to say I was the second person to tweet about Willow).

Photo by Bebeto Matthews (Associated Press)

What I didn’t expect is to keep running across stories about Willow in other online news sources. Apparently, I’m not the only person who loves animal rescue stories.

My favorite is probably this one by Ian Crouch for The New Yorker. What’s cool about Ian’s post is that he speculates on how five years in New York City (Brooklyn, mostly) might have changed Willow.

Among the many mysteries: how will the city have changed her? It’s a great Web meme: the runaway who makes good in New York only to be forced to return to her family in some western state, where she’ll be bound to complain that nothing stays open late enough.

Ian also provides numerous examples of other really cool animal journeys, like those of sharks, humpback whales and wildebeest. If I could be a non-human animal for a day, I might choose to be a wildebeest. Well, maybe not. I don’t want to be lion lunch. But I really like the word “wildebeest.” If I ever do a personalized car tag, I think I’ll go with wildebeest. (Trust me on this: no danger of my getting a personalized car tag).

I’ve always speculated about how Bama, my beloved black Labrador retriever, came to be a stray that was picked up by Stillwater Animal Control. I’ve never understood how anyone could simply “abandon” a beautiful (apparently full-blooded) Lab, especially one that was housebroken, obedience-trained,  non-destructive and not remotely hyper . I still believe that Bama became lost from her family and strayed far from she once lived. That would explain why no one ever tracked her to Stillwater.  When I adopted “Kosoma”, she couldn’t hear anything (which I didn’t know for 24-48 hours) but she regained her hearing after a few weeks. The vet said Bama had a fungal infection in her ears that kept her from hearing. One of my theories is that she got lost and disoriented because of her hearing loss. All that’s a story for another day.

Anyway, I like to think that Bama has a story something like Willow’s NYC adventure.

I know a bit more about my new dog, Penny. I’ll be sharing her story very soon.


Jen Chung’s post about how Willow made it to the Big Apple (or may have, I haven’t independently verified the story).

Jim Fitzgerald’s story for the Associated Press: “Colo. cat, missing 5 years, is found on NYC streets”

Related Posts on The Ben Franklin Follies

Another Tornado Cat Miracle: Jack Reunited With Family

Rascal Makes It Home

Adorable Lady Finds Missing Cat During Interview Outside Tornado-Ravaged Home

Frog Rescue