Cat House 

Not Mookie Sticks.

The 8-pound orange tabby cat would have nothing of it. So he went back to the old place. Again. And again.

Mookie makes the trip about every other day.

Somehow, Mookie finds his way, slinking for a couple miles along busy streets and even crossing one of the bridges over the expressway. Once he's there, he hangs around — like old times.

"He won't come back," Badgett says. "We have to go and pick him up."

While driving the cat home to the new house, Aracri has watched Mookie carefully. He rides, rather smugly, in the car. "He looks out the window, and I swear he's plotting his course," Aracri says.

At first, Badgett and Aracri were perplexed about Mookie's travels, and Aracri worried that Mookie's flights might be because of a fear of deer. Even so, the couple understands his proclivity for his former home.

"He is king of the neighborhood," Badgett says. And the old neighbors seem to like him a lot and feed him plenty, too. Some let Mookie inside their houses to use other cats' litter boxes.

Badgett says he might have a solution to all the roving. "I'm thinking about taking him over there in the morning when I go to work and picking him up when I come home." — Brandon Walters


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