Missing Cat Spence Finds Her Way Home After an Extended Stay in Florida

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Spence, who’s family was visiting Florida, is making a big journey home! Losing your pet is every animal owner’s worst nightmare. But losing your pet in a different state, is even more traumatic for both you and them.

Photo provided by Kristen Evans

Gregory Parnell and his girlfriend were visiting family in Pinellas County, Florida. So they decided to bring their cat, Spence, along with them. But somehow, Spence managed to escape the camper and was unable to be found. Sadly, even the locations apartment manager was beyond unhelpful, threatening to call the police if they returned to search.

Heartbroken, the couple had to return home without their beloved girl.

On August 10th, a local Florida trapper Kristen Evans saw a post on Facebook that she could not ignore. Parnell’s girlfriend was reaching out, desperate to bring their girl home.

And with the help of several rescue groups, a sweet flight attendant, and the amazing power of social media, Spence has made her way home!

Photo by Kristen Evans

Being in the area, Evans was able to look for Spence, but did not find her that day. But she did not give up! For a week, she returned in hopes that she would spot the cat. After coming up empty handed, she posted on the Tampa Bay TNR (trap/neuter/release) Facebook page, just to see if someone else working in the area had seen her.

Photo by Kristen Evans

Time went on, and more than a month had passed with no sightings of Spence anywhere.

However, this special cat was always in the back of the volunteer’s minds. A member of the Tampa Bay TNR group checks the Pinellas County Animal Services daily intake website and cross-checks the animals with reports of missing pets.

Photo by Pinellas County Animal Services

On September 27th, the volunteer saw a photo that gave her hope.

She recognized Spence’s orange face, white nose, and black ring of fur around her right eye. Hopeful, she immediately sent the photo to Evans who just knew that it was Spence! After sending the photo to the Michigan couple to identify their cat, Evans sprang into action. She drove to Pinellas County Animal Services to see the cat in person and be absolutely sure that it was indeed Spence.

The markings were a purr-fect match for Parnell’s best friend!

The next step was to make sure that Spence had a medical exam, got microchipped, and found a temporary foster. But, that was the easy part! Now she had to work out a way to get the cat safely back to his family in Michigan.

Photo by Kristen Evans

An online fundraiser was created to help pay for both her care and her transportation home. Another volunteer, who’s friend is a private flight attendant, organized a flight up north with Spence.

Photo by Kristen Evans

On Friday, October 2nd, Evans brought Spence to the Tampa Airport to be flown to Detroit, Michigan. There, she would be met by Gregory Parnell and his girlfriend at 3 p.m.

Photo of Gregory Parnell and Family

Safe and sound with her family, this is a journey that the Parnell’s and their best friend, Spence, will never forget! And hopefully never do again.


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