Cat Lives Secret Life With 2 Families
New Zealand households in catfight over Ming/Cleo
By Jenn Gidman, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2014 9:37 AM CDT
A Siamese cat like this one is torn between two families in New Zealand.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Alice Alexander probably had no idea that the name she gave her new Siamese cat 14 years ago would prove so prescient. She called him "Ming," because he liked to mingle—so much so that he has been going back and forth between her New Zealand home and another one for more than a decade, effectively combining two of its nine lives to live a double one, reports Stuff NZ. Alexander and the Smith family, who call the cat Cleo, are now fighting over ownership of the vagabond kitty, who apparently sees nothing wrong with two-timing each one, notes Gawker.

When Alexander brought Ming home in 2000, he wandered a bit—"Everyone knew Ming, and I would often get calls saying he was in someone's house," she tells Stuff—but then he disappeared completely in 2010. Four years later, he reappeared on her deck, then promptly took off again after she recollared and microchipped him. Glenda Smith contacted Alexander after seeing Ming/Cleo's "missing" posters and told the previous/current owner that her husband had found the cat before they got married and taken him in, assuming he was a stray. "We love him so much and want him to be happy, but [we're] worried the [Smith] family will move," Alexander tells Stuff. Smith counters with, "Cleo is part of the family and been with us for nine years—we can't just push him away now. He loves us and always comes back." (Can't fathom this story? You might be a dog person.)

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Maren Dallmann
Mar 23, 2015 10:24 AM CDT
I had a cat like that once. He disappeared and when I put missing notices up a neighbour up the road called to say he'd been staying with him on and off. He wasn't sure where he'd come from. I was happy for the cat to have two homes. The only thing that mattered was that he was happy. He'd spend equal times with me and the neighbour and neither of us would have considered moving as long as little Tuffy was about as we couldn't take one of his homes from him.
Nov 9, 2014 2:55 PM CST
I had a black lab/Doberman/greyhound dog like this. He'd take off for the day to play with other dogs, visit the neighbors and everything from hot dogs to steak. Kids would knock on my door asking if he could come out and play and if we went by the school during a fire drill the lids would call out to him. They knew him and his name via his tag. His brother that didn't travel as much wasn't as well known. Mailmen/UPS driver would find him in their trucks waiting to go for a ride. He disappeared for 2 months and we found him in the suburbs where someone dumped him after stealing his collar. Apparently he'd become possessive of the three boys who lived there especially the youngest who was disabled. A neighbor who'd been at the house before he came and came after he arrived was treated to a warning as the lady said he stood over her son and growled at the neighbor to let him know no funny business. He was always like that. Energetic trouble maker but when an old woman was shaky he'd slip under her hand to steady her. When a guy/vicious dog threatened neighborhood kids he stood between the threat and kids and let the threat know not to mess with them.
Sep 6, 2014 1:13 PM CDT
We had a dog that went on vacation. One day, he'd be gone. Sometimes for weeks or months. We finally found out that he went on RV trips with an older couple. That dog went to Florida, the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore. A lot more places that any of us have been. The last time, though, the lady had already lost her husband, and she didn't make it through the trip. That dog got back to Burbank, CA from Arizona by himself. No lie. He was almost dead himself, but he did recover and live a good life.