While some cats prefer to pass their time cat napping on the couch, Daisy-Duck Bandit Sanborn is a thrill-seeker with a passion for travel! Hailing from Dearborn, Michigan, the tabby kitten had gone missing shortly before Halloween 2018. Just where he was during that “lost” time, absolutely shocked his family. Surprisingly, he was found last month in warm and sunny Tampa, Florida–roughly 1,100 miles from his home!
Little Bandit as a cute kitten shortly before he went missing…
No one knows exactly how he ended up there, but there are multiple speculations…
“We don’t know if he hitched a ride in a moving van or a snowbird took him down to Florida,” says Judy Sanders, the traveling kitty’s owner. Maybe someone in Michigan found him, took him in and kept him indoors, and then brought him along on a trip to Florida.”
One thing is certain: this kitty was clearly missed by his family. They are overjoyed to hear that he is alive and well–even though he’s across the United States. In the weeks following the kitten’s disappearance, they posted missing signs and searched their local shelter and rescues hoping to find their lost kitty.
Bandit now, being silly!
When a Good Samaritan picked him up after the friendly kitten followed her home, she took the little fellow to her local veterinarian’s office, BluePearl, to have him scanned for the possibility of a microchip.
What happened next raised a lot of eyebrows for everyone present!
“Honestly, in my 30 years of my career, I have not seen an animal come from so far away. A block over, a street over, or maybe even (from) Orlando, which is an hour away from us. This is the farthest away I’ve seen,” says Jose Calderon, an emergency veterinary technician manager at BluePearl emergency vet hospital in Tampa, Florida.
Bandit and his litter mates were found abandoned on her sister’s pontoon boat with they were just tiny kittens. Originally named Daisy, his owner thought he was actually a she.
Bandit has been a cat that’s allowed to go outdoors as he pleases. His favorite is mostly to hunt chipmunks and mice he’d bring back as gifts for his family. He will most certainly be fitted with appropriate ID tags and a collar once he is returned to his rightful owner.
The issue is that the journey is not easy. Special (not to mention costly) arrangements are being made to reunite Bandit with his family in Dearborn. Bandit’s owner, Judy Sanborn, started a GoFund Me page for Bandit. She hoped to raise funds to ensure his safe return back to Michigan where he’s deeply missed:
“Over the last three weeks we tried to find friends and relatives who may have been in that area and able to bring Daisy home. We were unsuccessful. Our only option is to have him flown home in cargo. In addition to the plane ticket and special crate, we will get Bamboo Pet Sitting of Tampa, Florida to pick him up and deliver him to the airport.”
Thanks to cat lovers across the globe who caught wind of Bandit’s story, Judy was able to reach her fundraising goal this past Monday!
Thanks to a connection through BluePearl with a Florida-based pet sitting company, even better news was received. A pilot will be personally flying Bandit back home to Michigan later this week!
Hopefully this kitty with a flair for travel will take to the cold weather. It’s possible the term “snow bird”–people who live in the sunshine during the northern winter months–attracted him. While this story had a happy ending for one lost cat, it’s a sad dead end for many people with lost cats. Without proper identification or microchips, reunions may never happen.
Remember, a microchip is your chance to get that happy ending you and your cat deserve if ever needed.