"Skittles" skedaddled, but the cat came back — traveling 350 miles home from one state to another.
The 2-year-old orange tabby cat reappeared last month — paws raw and ribs protruding — after his owners lost track of him during a summer spent in southern Wisconsin 140 days before.
"Skittles decided to take off," Charmin Sampson told ABCNEWS affiliate WDIO-TV in Duluth, Minn. "I had to work Labor Day weekend [back in Minnesota]. So he had seven to 10 days to get his act together, to come back in to where we were staying. He never showed up."
"We called him and called him," Sampson's 16-year-old son, Jason, told The Associated Press. "We just couldn't find him."
The family reluctantly returned home to Minnesota, minus one pet, Sampson said.
‘No More [New] Cats’
But on Jan. 14 came a surprise.
"I come in and I'm looking at the cat," she told WDIO. "I'm yelling for Jason, 'Why is this cat eating? I told you don't bring no more cats in here. We don't need no more cats. I love them dearly but we don't need no more.'"
But, she added, "The other cats, usually when you bring in a stray, they get to hissing and fighting because this is their territory. Nobody was doing that. They were all kind of looking at him from a distance, checking him out while he was eating. And he was famished.
"And Jason was like, 'Look at the cat. … That's Skittles,'" she said.
Jason told The Associated Press that Skittles had just strolled up to the front door — months after his disappearance in another state.
"I knew it was Skittles," he said. "The cat is orange, with white paws and he's got a look to him — a unique look."
After his long journey, Skittles appears fully recovered, the Sampsons said. He is back to snoozing in the living-room armchair and playing with his feline friend, Yum-Yum.
"It was a great present," Sampson said. "I must be a good pet owner if he was willing to come all that way."
ABCNEWS affiliate WDIO-TV in Duluth, Minn., contributed to this report.