Tig travels home

Published 6:14 am Thursday, June 17, 2010

Somehow, Tig found himself nearly 60 miles from home.

The 4-year-old cat, who went missing from Pine Island, Minn., in November, turned up in rural Waltham last winter, where he enjoyed free meals from a resident for six to seven months.

While Tig — named, in part, after the famous tiger from Winnie the Pooh — may have found himself a good place to stay, he still wasn’t home. And Beth Kohner, his owner, was worried sick about him. The day Kohner realized Tig was missing, she changed her Facebook profile picture to a shot of Tig, and she pleaded for any help in finding him.

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So when Mower County deputy Bob Kvam called Kohner earlier this week and said that her cat had been found, the 47-year-old Pine Island resident could not have been happier.

But she also tried not to get too excited — Kohner had been through close calls before, but hadn’t been able to track down Tig. She wasn’t ready for another disappointment.

“My stomach just started turning,” Kohner said of her reaction to the call. “I was dragging my feet. I didn’t want to get my hopes up.”

However, this time seemed different. Kvam told Kohner that he had been in contact with a Pine Island veterinary clinic that had given Tig shots in the past. Based on tags on the cat’s collar that confirmed those shots, Kvam said, they were pretty sure it was Tig.

On Tuesday, any uncertainty was washed away, as Kohner and Tig reunited.

“As soon as I said his name, he mellowed out,” Kohner said. “He sat on my lap and purred all the way home.”

Tig’s adjustment to home life has been slow, but progress is being made. The Kohners have four other cats and a dog, so Tig is finding himself re-learning how to play nicely with others. And his back legs have been sore, Kohner said, which has contributed to some crabbiness.

But the family is simply overjoyed to have Tig back, especially Beth Kohner, who listed “getting Tig back” as her Christmas wish this past December.

“They’re happy because I’m happy,” she said of her husband and two children. “I’m the cat person in the family.”

Kohner is also very grateful to the people who helped make the reunion possible. That includes Mariah Musolf, 20, the Waltham resident who took care of Tig, and Bob Kvam, who responded when Musolf was having troubles with other cats and who eventually brought Tig back to Kohner.

Kohner said she hasn’t yet been able to speak with Musolf, but she did thank Kvam personally when the two met at the Mower-Olmsted county line to exchange Tig.

“He was just super,” Kohner said of the deputy. “He kept in contact with me all Monday night. He wanted to make this connection.”

That connection has been made, and after seven months and 60 miles, Tig is home.