Cat reunited with owner after jumping from back of truck 16 years ago

"He is still hanging in there and he still has something left in him to give."
BEAR, Delaware (WPVI) -- One lucky feline in Delaware is bringing a whole new meaning to the saying "cats have nine lives."

Ritz, who is now about 18 years old, was recently reunited with his owner after being on the run for 16 years.

Ritz got out of Jason McKenry's apartment back in 2006.

The day after the cat got out, a neighbor then realized the cat may have been hiding in the back of his truck, and jumped out while he was driving.

McKenry searched for Ritz for months, checking every animal hospital and shelter, but no one knew exactly where he jumped.

Turns out, it was about 15 minutes from their home in Bear, Delaware.

For the last 2 years, Ritz has been visiting a woman named Emily Russell.

Russell does not live far from where he escaped all those years ago. She has been feeding him, until Monday, when things changed and she had to take him to Lums Pond Animal Hospital.

"He showed up on my doorstep with a hurt front paw and hurt back leg and there was nothing I could do for him, so I took him to the vet," she said. "They scanned him for a microchip and bam he had an owner."

Liz McKenry said Ritz is one tough kitty.

"He's definitely had a rough time but he is still hanging in there and he still has something left in him to give," she said.

Ritz is now rehabbing with Liz's parents at their Delaware home.

Jason McKenry said he is so grateful he got Ritz microchipped, and said they will be calling Emily to thank her for saving their beloved family member.
Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.