Smelly disappeared from Kathleen Crichton's home 8 years ago. Turns out she was in Gainsville.

Florida woman reunited with cat 8 years after he went missing

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Orlando resident Kathleen Crichton knows she won't ever figure out how her cat, Smelly, got to Gainesville.

"If only he could tell his story," Crichton said. "Did he trek there over the last eight years? Did someone pick him up and move to Gainesville with him?"

Smelly disappeared from Crichton's Waterford Lakes home in 2008. Then, she had three cats and a dog. Now, she has three sons and a fish.

"He was always an inside-outside cat," she said. "He likes to go out. (He) always went for walks with the dog, follow me around in the yard, so I thought he would come back."

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A veterinarian from Millhopper Veterinary Clinic Center in Gainesville called Crichton last week to tell her someone found her cat and took it to the clinic. Smelly had a microchip.

Crichton got the cat's old carrier out of the attic and made the more than two-hour drive to the animal clinic.

"I'm still in shock by it," Crichton said. "(It's) still a lot for me to take in."

She said Smelly is just as feisty as the day he left. He's now 16 years old.

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