View Mobile Site

The purr-fect reunion

Manteca couple’s cat missing 21 months found 2,300 miles away

Text Size: Small Large Medium
The purr-fect reunion

Kathy Siebler hugs “Fanny the Cat,”.

GLENN KAHL/ The Bulletin/

POSTED January 16, 2018 1:19 a.m.

“Franny the Cat” disappeared from the home of Manteca residents Kathy and Bob Siebler 21 months ago on May 26, 2016.
 “I didn’t think in a million years that I would ever see her again after that day,” Kathy recalled.
Franny turned up the day after Christmas some 2,300 miles away.
That’s when the black cat was found in the snow by fourth-grade teacher Alexis Cooper in Taylor, Michigan.
It is a mystery for the Sieblers as to how their pet made it that far from home – a cat that never strayed too far from their property south of East Louise and Empire avenues in East Manteca. Taylor is a suburb of Dearborn, Michigan near the Great Lakes.
They could only speculate that Franny may have climbed into a moving truck or trailer and found an attractive place to forage or to take a nap before a door closed on her chance to return home. Born in November of 2011, the Sieblers had adopted her in May of that year keeping her bedded down in the garage rather than allowing her in their home for the first two years.  
Kathy sad Franny had a tag on her collar with her phone number but without the necessary area code.  She said when Franny didn’t come back home she went around the neighborhood looking for her and asking all the neighbors if they had seen her cat. 
 “The Tuesday after Christmas we got a call from a vet in Dearborn, Michigan describing Franny and asking if that was our cat,” Kathy said. “He said an Alexis Cooper in Taylor, Michigan was visiting in Dearborn and saw the cat running loose and picked her up with her nine-year-old daughter Kherington.”
After she had found the cat, she became frustrated that the phone number on her collar had no area code, so she called all the different area code phone numbers in the state with no luck.
Cooper was “so ecstatic” to learn the vet had found the cat’s owners that she took a personal necessity day’s leave from school and took Franny back to the vet’s office a second time for another medical checkup as United Air Lines required medical clearance from a doctor before they would allow Franny on a flight home.  Worms were found, she said, but that was cleared up with medication.
In the Cooper home, Franny was met by the family’s black cat “Spook” and the family dog who Franny didn’t hesitate slapping on the nose when he got too close to her.  Alexis referred to her as “Queen Franny”.
“She weighed nine pounds when she disappeared and nine pounds when she was found,” Kathy said.  “Somebody had to have been feeding her well.  After staying with the family in Taylor, she increased in size to over some 13 pounds.”
The Seiblers paid $271 for her United Air Lines ticket that had her changing planes in Chicago and then on to Sacramento arriving at 3:07 p.m. on Saturday. They were also gracious in giving the teacher in Taylor some money for all help.  Bob and Kathy Siebler were told they could pick her up in her regulation sized crate that was equipped with food and water holders that wouldn’t spill in flight and a large colorful beach towel.
Bob said Franny gave no fearful reactions when they picked her up and only stared straight ahead and never meowed as they drove home to Manteca. 
 “When we got home, she ate and started purring the second I petted her fur,” Kathy said.
Monday afternoon Franny was lying on the tan living room carpet in front of the fireplace where she had been most of the time since they brought her back home. 
“We went out and bought her a new scratching post, collar and tag, automatic feeders for both water and food dishes.  We never thought we would have another cat,” Kathy said.  “The first few weeks we missed her meowing, but it finally set in she was probably not coming back.”

To contact Glenn Kahl, email

Commenting is not available.

Commenting not available.

Please wait ...