Cat reunites with its owners after two years |

Cat reunites with its owners after two years

Joel Stonington
Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but for the Carpenters, the one that reunited them with their long-lost cat is priceless.When Cindy Carpenter picked up The Aspen Times on Tuesday, on the front page was Chucky, a yellow tabby they had lost two years ago.”We picked up the paper, and I zoomed in on the cat,” Carpenter said. “I noticed his nose.” Chucky was settled in after the move to the new Aspen Animal Shelter; he had been at the old shelter since December 2005.

“It was very emotional,” said Sue Harken-Hauser, manager of the animal shelter. “There were a lot of people here because we just moved in, so it was pretty exciting for everybody. The family had saved all his toys. They really missed him.”Curt Carpenter, Cindy’s husband, let the cat out on a dark August night nearly two years ago. Chucky came back the next morning. So Curt figured it was OK to let him out again. But the second time Chucky didn’t come back. They put up signs and checked at the animal shelter, but he was nowhere to be found. “We thought he had been eaten by a fox or a coyote or something,” Curt said.”We just thought nature took him,” Cindy said. “After six months we told the kids he was gone. We had to put some closure on it.”

It’s possible another family took care of the cat for a while. Either that or Chucky may be the burliest housecat in history, because from August 2004 to December 2005, there is no record of him.On Dec. 19, 2005, someone called the animal shelter to say he was worried about a cat hanging around the Alpine Mountain Market in the Aspen Airport Business Center. The shelter picked the cat up and named him Marmalade, vaccinated him and, after a waiting period, put him up for adoption.”He was so friendly with people,” said Seth Sachson, director of the shelter. “He had just been everyone’s favorite, living in the cat room, loving everyone.”Harken-Hauser said the cat has a strong personality. “He was definitely the boss of the cat room,” she said. “He ate first, he got the best perch, but he was very nice.”

When a photographer went out to the shelter to take some pictures after the move, he got a shot of Marmalade (up on the best perch) getting petted by the shelter’s Mimi Teschner. “A family called us in delight and said, ‘We lost that cat two years ago.'” Sachson said. “We were trying to find him a home; that photograph not only found him a home but his real home, his long-lost home. It was all because of [the] photograph.”The Carpenters say they’re sure it’s Chucky. When they went to the animal shelter to pick him up, Chucky went right over to their daughter, Cornelia, when she said his name. Cindy also mentioned a few of his old traits.”It’s just him,” said Cindy, while their son, Fritz, nodded knowingly. Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is

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