Cats don't give a shit about much of anything. Catnip, maybe. And birds and laser pointers. But reuniting with their owners after six long months of separation? Kitty cat don't care. Kitty cat don't give a shit. That's exactly what went down this morning, when lost cat Waylon was greeted by his owner, Daniel Johns, from whose Florida house he'd made a daring escape back in June, less than an hour after being adopted.
The not-so-tearful reunion happened in a big, nearly-empty room at Foothills Animal Shelter in Golden. The media was there in force -- all the local television stations, plus print media, including Westword (duh). After all, the Internet was invented as a way to share stories about effing adorable cats.
Shelter spokeswoman Jennifer Strickland reassured reporters that what they were about to witness was for realsies. "We have not staged this," she said as each new cameraman arrived. "The owner has not seen him all morning. We've kept him away."
In fact, Johns, a 39-year-old chef at the Marco Island Yacht Club, was waiting in the lobby. Meanwhile, the cameras shot b-roll of Waylon. Waylon meowing. Waylon walking around on a leash. Waylon crapping into a tiny litter box. Kitty cat don't care.
The big moment wasn't very big, as moments go. Johns walked into the room, wearing black pants and a purple Fox Racing sweatshirt. He petted Waylon, who sniffed him. Strickland handed Johns the leash, and Waylon led his long-lost owner to a set of glass doors. Then, as you can see by the video below, he stared at the parking lot.
"You don't remember me from Adam, do you?" Johns cooed. "Do you want to see the Denver airport?"
Waylon had no comment.
"Sorry this isn't more fun to watch, guys," Johns said to the cameramen.
"He is a cat," one answered.
After several minutes of Waylon-walking, Johns was ready for his close-up. The ensuing interview cleared up several important details that the media had gotten wrong in the blitz of publicity surrounding the story. Johns is from Goodland, not Naples. Waylon ran away in June, not August. And he's not sure how soon the cat escaped -- out of a dryer vent, which was correctly reported -- after he got home. Johns said he noticed that Waylon was missing about an hour later. He could have made a break for it right away, he noted.
As for how he got to Colorado, Johns (naturally) has no idea. "My best guess is he found another family who just happened to be going this way," he said. Two days before Christmas, Johns said he got a call from Foothills. They'd scanned Waylon's microchip and traced him back to him. But Johns said he didn't realize at first that the shelter was thousands of miles away. When Foothills began giving him directions on how to get to there, Johns put two and two together. I'm in Florida, he told them.
The chairman of the board of the yacht club where he works is a retired United Airlines executive, and Johns said he offered to hook him up with a free flight to Colorado. He arrived late on Monday. Yesterday, he said he wandered around LoDo and found a pet boutique that sells cat carriers. His and Waylon's flight home leaves this afternoon.
When asked what he thought upon seeing Waylon again, Johns didn't hesitate.
"He's fat," he said.
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More from our Strange But True archives: "Willow the prodigal cat: Where we suspect she spent her five lost years."