SAN DIEGO - A cat that had been missing for more than 13 years was reunited with his family in California this week.
“Bandit” was found more than 300 miles away in Las Vegas.
Family members said they are still stunned and in disbelief now that Bandit is home in Mission Heights,
a community in Linda Vista.
“We thought he was long gone 13 years ago,” says Elizabeth Corso, Bandit’s owner.
Thirteen years ago, when Bandit was just 2 years old, the Corsos thought Bandit may have escaped or left with a television repair man.
They were devastated.
“We would go to shelters, we would go to the pound, we would go everywhere and look for him,” said Corso.
Not only were the Corsos sad, so too was Bandit's brother Coot.
The Corsos said the two cats had been inseparable.
“He was just devastated and he's always been a loner ever since,” says Elizabeth's son Christian about Coot. “Never got close to any other cat, he was always looking for his brother the whole time.”
“They said, ‘Hello, do you know Bandit?’" says Dante Corso. "I said, ‘Bandit? Who is this?'"
The Corsos had lived in Las Vegas for 19 years and just recently moved back to San Diego.
Bandit was found by a man who tries to find feral cats good homes.
One swipe over Bandit's microchip at the Bonanza Cat Hospital in Las Vegas led the vets right to the Corsos in San Diego.
“She said how did you get to San Diego?,” said Dante. “I said, ‘How did you get the cat?'"
They drove the 300-plus miles to Las Vegas Wednesday and saw their beloved cat once again.
“I put my hands out to him and he came over and then put my face toward him and he came up and he just rubbed his face all over mine,” said Elizabeth. “It just kind of broke your heart a little bit.”
On Thursday afternoon, the Corsos told RTV6 sister station 10News they know Bandit has been cared for all these years, but they can't help think about where else he's been.
“You just wonder what he's been through," said Elizabeth.