After a four-year deployment, U.S. Army captain Molly McFadden was excited to come home to the U.S. from Germany. Making the journey a couple months ago, she traveled with her feline family, three-year old tabby Milo and fluffy, ginger Beau. In a country far from home, the kitty boys were her family abroad.
In a Facebook post, Molly wrote, “I didn’t have my family with me, but I had Milo and his brother Beau. They’ve been with me through thick and thin, and I absolutely love them.”
Feet on solid ground at the Dulles Airport in Virginia, Molly awaited her guys only to experience heartbreak at their appearance. While Beau remained in his cage, Milo’s was empty. Molly reported, “The cage door was pushed in. There were latches on all four corners of the crate and none of them were still attached to the crate.”
Lufthansa staff told Molly they suspected Milo had escaped during the flight and may have been still on board the plane. A search turned up empty and Molly believes he escaped the cage on the tarmac before getting to the terminal. After almost a week, Milo remained missing in spite of “extensive searching in the area, flyers, tracking dogs and humane traps.”
Flying the boys worked at Molly’s nerves, but “losing Milo was a nightmare I never even considered. Milo’s a little cat, and it’s a big world out there.” Desperate to get Milo back, she turned to Facebook to get the word out. She devoted the page Milo is Missing solely to finding her absent tabby.
Weeks of Sightings but Evasion Continues
The weeks marched on and Molly never deterred. With the help of concerned cat lovers reporting leads on Facebook, Molly made frequent hunts on the grounds around the airport. She put out blankets with her and Beau’s scent to lure the scared cat toward baited traps.
Bonnie Westbrook and Sam Connelly of Pure Gold Pet Trackers tailed Milo and kept Molly hot on his heels. Still, Milo evaded capture. As the holiday season descended, the grey tabby remained missing. Molly said, “It would be the best Christmas gift ever to have him home in time for the holidays.”
Little did she know her holiday miracle was on its way.
Milo and Molly Reunite
Two days after her post regarding her Christmas wish, Molly received the gift she most wanted.
“I have been waiting so long to make this post and couldn’t be more excited about it – guess who’s home for the holidays!!!”
Dulles Airport USDA staff had reported seeing Milo and search efforts narrowed to a small patch of woods nearby. There, Milo was trapped and then returned to Molly’s loving arms.
A few days ago, Molly posted an update regarding her little fugitive’s status. After a physical exam by the vet, Milo was pronounced well for his ordeal. Blood work results are pending, but Milo is resting happily at home with Molly and Beau. Both are so happy to have him home.
Welcome home Milo! We hope you and your relieved family have a very Meow-y Christmas!