Lost indoor cat returns home after 18 months in the wild


Photo submitted by Richard Campbell

The lost cat is back with his fellow kittens at the Campbell household.

By Xingrui Lu

Last month, an indoor cat named Calvin was returned to its owner after surviving 18 months in the wild. 

Calvin’s return to retired Professor Richard Campbell of Hillcrest Drive was possible because the animal had been microchipped, he said. This is a procedure in which a microchip containing information that is readable by a special scanner is inserted under the animal’s skin by a veterinarian. 

Calvin was an indoor cat who escaped the house while grandchildren and children were visiting on April 16 in 2021. Campbell said he adopted Calvin and his brother Cooper from a litter that was found abandoned in a tree in 2017. 

More recently, Calvin was found living on the edge of the Miami University Natural Areas by retired professor Susan Prochaska.

“Over approximately two weeks, I would go twice a day and call the cat and provide food and water,” she said. “Eventually, the cat started to come closer but would disappear each time after he ate.”

On Oct. 29, she finally coaxed him to come home with her for the weekend. Calvin relaxed and loved being in the house. Prochaska said she thought he probably had belonged to someone at one time before. She took him to the vet to check out if he had a microchip. 

“​​He was able to be reunited with his family because he had a microchip with his family’s contact information. Without it, I wouldn’t have known Calvin’s story,” she said.

Campbell said Calvin had some parasites in his stomach and tick bites, but is doing well now. “It is rare for an indoor cat to survive for 18 months in the wild,” he said.

He said that he thought Calvin was fed by Miami students living in Collins Hall.