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

(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.)

A Siamese cat like this one is torn between two families in New Zealand.
A Siamese cat like this one is torn between two families in New Zealand.   (Shutterstock)
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