I have a lot of questions and feelings about this story. Oh, the feels!
First of all, why did this UK couple, Neil and Leasa Payne, decide to rehome their three-year-old orange tabby named Garfield? The story doesn’t give a reason, saying only that they decided to “give” the cat to “new owners” on June 20 after their kids moved out.
If the cat was for their kids, why didn’t one of them take the little guy? And if he was a family pet, who just gives away a cat they’ve had for three years?
Garfield understandably didn’t like what was happening and left his would-be new home to travel 40 miles — over seven weeks — from North London to Bedfordshire.
That’s a serious hike over dangerous territory for cats, with lots of traffic and potential hazards from humans and other animals alike. Garfield wouldn’t have made it if he wasn’t resourceful, finding food and water during the long journey.
Neil Payne told the UK’s Daily Star he came home one day and was “gobsmacked” when he found Garfield sitting on the front doorstep.
“It’s unbelievable. He was staring at me, crying,” Payne said. “I didn’t think it was him at first. Leasa came to the door and called his name and he jumped up on her.”
Yeah, dude: Garfield was crying because he couldn’t believe you gave him away!
Payne told the newspaper he’s “going to give [Garfield] a second chance.”
“We can’t get rid of him now — he has proven that this is his forever home,” he said.
Garfield’s return is even more impressive since the Paynes claim he’s been an indoor-only cat. Not only did the brave feline have to make some serious adjustments to survive on the street, he must have some exceptional senses to make his way back over entirely unfamiliar territory.
There are clearly details missing from this story, and I hope there were mitigating circumstances. If this incredible cat, who risked life and limb to get back to his humans, is stuck for the rest of his life with people who don’t appreciate him, that’s a shame.
I hope Garfield does indeed have a warm and comfortable forever home, and I hope the Paynes give him the love and affection he obviously wants and deserves. Good job, little dude.