How a cat was returned to a Waterford woman after getting lost on trip home from Florida

‘I can’t wait to get my hands on him’

WATERFORD, Mich. – A cat was reunited with his owner in Waterford on Friday after a stranger found him in Tennessee and drove over 11 hours to bring him home.

Tucker, a tuxedo cat who enjoys vacationing in Florida, has been on quite a journey after he was lost in another state.

On their way home from Florida, Tucker went missing from a hotel in Southern Tennesee and his owner, Jamie McCall, had to continue on to Waterford without him.

It had been weeks since he was first lost, but on Friday, he returned home for the holidays all because a stranger was willing to drive just over 600 miles.

Jamie McCall, Tucker’s owner, couldn’t contain her excitement as James “Hurricane” Heathfield pulled into her driveway.

Heathfield drove 11 and a half hours from Cleveland, Tennessee, to return Tucker to his owner in Waterford.

“Are you Tucker’s mom?” he said as he got out of the car.

This was a moment McCall had been waiting weeks for.

“Thank you so much, you don’t know how much this means to me,” she said with Tucker in her arms for the first time since he was lost.

Over the summer, Jamie drove to Florida with Tucker. In early November on her way back to Waterford she stopped at a hotel in Cleveland, Tennesee, which is when Tucker went missing.

“I searched the woods behind there and went through the neighborhood,” she said.

“Well, it’s a busy road and that’s why she (Heathfield’s granddaughter, Holly) was worried about him,” Heathfield explained.

“Well it’s amazing he didn’t get run over,” McCall said. “Cause I originally went out there to see if he was in the road.”

When she couldn’t find Tucker, she turned to social media, pleading for help. Within one hour a woman from Tennesee responded saying she had found Tucker.

“To find out that he had been taken in and cared for by somebody so lovely as your granddaughter, I mean,” Jamie said.

Holly kept Tucker safe until her grandfather could drive up to bring him home.

“I’m just really happy, and you know, it’s Christmas time, and right now with the way the world is, to see something like this, you know, it warms my heart,” Heathfield said.

James, also known as “Hurricane”, is a tour bus driver and says he’s used to long road trips.

“I mean who would take in a cat, and take care of it, and then return it to you hundreds of miles away? It’s overwhelming for me,” Jamie said.

About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Morgan is a Digital Editor and has been with WDIV since May of 2022. She is also studying political science and communications at Wayne State University.