Watch CBS News

Missing Bay Area Cat Reunited With Owner Who Moved Cross Country

MILL VALLEY (KPIX 5) – A woman who moved from the Bay Area to New York has been reunited with her cat, who went missing more than a year ago.

KPIX 5 was there Monday when Nancy Armeli was reunited with her cat, Billie Jean.

"Oh she's so beautiful! She looks so good," Armeli exclaimed.

It was a miracle, courtesy of But it was a miracle that took time.

Armeli lost Billie Jean after she moved from Mill Valley to Santa Rosa last year. She posted on Nextdoor, but months went by and there was no word.

"I had given up hope at some point," Armeli told KPIX 5.

Armeli then moved to New York, thinking she would never see Billie Jean again.

Billie Jean
Billie Jean the cat. (CBS)

That was until a few weeks ago. Sarah Haynes and her staff at Kitty Charm School in Mill Valley noticed a black cat coming by the shelter for food.

"At first we thought she was a neighborhood cat," said Sarah Haynes of Kitty Charm School. "She had this collar on, she seemed like she was super friendly and in good shape."

Haynes took the cat in, posted flyers and asked on Nextdoor if anyone knew who this cat belonged to.

"I started reaching out to people saying, 'Can anyone think of a cat that has been missing for at least three years?'" Haynes recalled.

One person remembered Armeli's year-old Nextdoor ad, and then a connection was made. But her good news didn't stop there.

Another stranger offered to pay for Armeli's flight from New York to the Bay Area, so this long-awaited reunion could take place.

"She's the best Christmas gift I could have ever gotten," Armeli said.

Haynes noted how rare this reunion was.

"Billie Jean is a one in a million kitty and I really hope that people will get a lesson from this," she said. "Very few make it home without a tag and a collar. She had neither, and the fact that she made it home is amazing."

The cat has since been microchipped.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.