Lost Cat Travels 32 Miles Through The Utah Mountains To Find His Family

Written by: Dina Fantegrossi
Dina Fantegrossi is the Assistant Editor and Head Writer for HomeLife Media. Before her career in writing, Dina was a veterinary technician for more than 15 years.Read more
| Published on December 7, 2016

Cats are known for seeking out warm, hidden nooks for napping. Mittens – beloved pet of the Flitton family – had no idea that his perfect snooze spot would lead him astray and set him on a 4-month and 32 mile journey through the Utah mountains.

Now, thanks to a microchip and a good Samaritan this “miracle cat” is finally back home safe where he belongs.


It all started when Brandon Flitton towed his boat 35 miles from his Mountain Green home into Salt Lake City to be repaired. He had no idea that Mittens had ducked under the boat cover and become an unwilling stowaway along for the ride.


When the repairman lifted the cover at the boat shop, a terrified Mittens immediately bolted into the unfamiliar surroundings. The Flittons were devastated, especially 14-year-old Allison. Mittens was microchipped, but unless he turned up at a shelter or veterinary office, the chip could not be traced back to the family.


They searched the area, posting fliers and calling out his name in the hopes that Mittens would respond to their voices. As the weeks turned into months, Allison began to believe she would never see her cat again. She cried countless tears for the black kitty she named Mittens in honor of his white paws.


Four-months later, a noticeably thin, ravenously hungry and mildly injured Mittens showed up at the home of Alice Puleo. She scooped up the friendly cat and brought him to the Park City Animal Clinic.

Dr. Carl Prior examined Mittens and found that his paws were raw and inflamed with some of the toenails damaged. It was clear that this kitty had been on his paws for some time. When Dr. Prior scanned him for a microchip, he understood why. Mittens had been trying to find his way home.


Alice Puleo’s home is 32 miles east of the Salt Lake City boat shop where the Flitton’s cat was last seen. Miraculously, Mittens had trekked through the mountains in the right direction! Dr. Prior believes that he would have eventually found his way home, but Puleo’s kindness helped him get there safely.


When Cindy Flitton took the shocking phone call from Dr. Prior, she decided to surprise Allison. She told her only that they had errands to run in Park City. When the 14-year-old walked into the vet’s office and saw her cat cradled in Puleo’s arms, she broke down.

Life is now back to normal at the Flitton house. Mittens has settled back into his life of luxury and leisure. However, his family will never forget that he traveled more than 30 miles through treacherous terrain just to be reunited with them.

All Photos via YouTube/Nick McGurk