In 2008, Jack Norheim’s cat, Ernst, left their home in Skellefteå, Sweden, and failed to return. After a while, Norheim, who described Ernst as “practically his best friend,” gave him up for gone, The Local reports. Norheim moved across the border to Norway, built a life, found a partner, and had a son. A year ago, he moved back to Skellefteå.
Then, last week, he got a call from the local animal shelter, asking him to come in and pick up his cat.
Ernst wasn’t dead—he had just been playing the long game. After he left the Norheim household, the tabby took up with an older couple in a nearby village, who cared for him until they passed away a few weeks ago. He ended up at the shelter, who called the phone number attached to his microchip.
Ernst—who, in photos, looks very pleased with himself—now lives with Norheim and his family once again. “I was a little bit nervous at first,” Norheim told local TV, but things have been working out great.
Although Ernst is certainly impressive, other recent footloose felines have him beat. This past July, Moon Unit of East London was reunited with his family after eight years of absence, during which he somehow made it to Paris.
In the fall of 2015, Glitter, a stylish cat from Sweden, also turned up in France, about 1000 miles away from home. And way back in 2013, a tortoiseshell named Holly jumped out of his family RV in Daytona, Florida, and staggered 200 miles back home—apparently on foot—to West Palm Beach.
We salute Ernst for his relatively lazy feat.