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Missing Nanaimo cat comes home after three-and-a half years

Last Updated Feb 28, 2021 at 4:00 pm PDT

No-no posing for the camera (Photo Submitted by Laura Brethour)

The last time Laura Brethour saw her cat No-no was Aug. 18, 2017

The BC SPCA found No-no living stray in January of 2021, returned the beloved kitty to his family

NANAIMO (NEWS 1130) — A missing Nanaimo cat did not come back the very next day, or the day after that. It took 1,258 days for No-no — a feisty, loyal, green-eyed tabby — to make it back home to his family.

The last time Laura Brethour saw her cat was Aug. 18, 2017.

When someone from the Nanaimo branch of the BC SPCA called last month to tell her the organization had found her cat she was confused.

“I said to them, ‘Well, my cat’s right here,” she tells NEWS 1130, explaining the family adopted another cat named Mortimer about a year and a half after No-no went missing.

“They said, ‘It’s a 15-year-old Tabby, and I discovered it was No-no. I was pretty emotional, pretty excited. I never expected him to be coming home.”

The cat was found stray and feral at a campground and RV Park about 12 kilometres away from where the family lives, and Brethour doesn’t know exactly how her beloved pet made it that far although she does doubt he travelled all that way on his own.

“He was way south — like practically out of town,” she says.

“He never went further than the cul-de-sac we live in. Whenever I called him he always came. He never went down towards the main road or anything.”

Since No-no’s return, he’s started sleeping with Brethour’s six year-old son — although he has some competition from Mortimer for the best spot.

“The two cats fight for a spot on the bed now. They have to share bedtime.”

Both cats are seniors and Brethour says they have been getting along quite well.

Brethour’s son was just a toddler when No-no disappeared, too young to really understand what happened.

“He would make little comments. ‘Where’s No-no, No-no needs to come home,’ stuff like that. We didn’t really explain to him what we thought had happened to him just that he was gone.”

While No-no is friskily affectionate with his family, he is wary of strangers and visitors.

“He won’t go to anybody else,” Brethour says. “He loves my son and he loves me. But you definitely have to watch your ankles at home.”

This handsome feline was found stray living at a campground & RV park and was brought into the BC SPCA Nanaimo Branch….

Posted by BC SPCA (BCSPCA) onĀ Tuesday, February 23, 2021


The BC SPCA shared No-no’s story last week to urge people to get permanent identification for their pets, such as a tattoo or microchip.

Brethour says she got a microchip for No-no at his first vet visit after the reunion.

“I said, put a chip in him because even though the tattoo worked I thought, on the off chance we move and it happens again, it’s much easier to track.”

But No-no’s outdoor adventures are officially over.

“He’s not safe in our neighbourhood so he is a permanent indoor kitty now,” Brethour says.

As for how the cat got his name, Brethour says it came from warning a little girl in her home daycare not to pet him back when he was a kitten.

“He’s not super kid-friendly.”