07/29/2015 09:53 pm ET

Lost Cat Reunited With Michigan Family After 19 Months In Hawaii

Bogie escaped from his kennel as it was being secured at the airport.

After waiting 19 months and traveling 4,500 miles, one extremely lucky cat was finally reunited with his owners last Friday.

In December 2013, as the Sutherland family was preparing to fly from Hawaii to Michigan for a permanent move, one family member was nowhere to be found. Bogie, their Siamese cat, had escaped from his kennel as he was being secured in the cargo hold at Honolulu International Airport. 

A representative from United Airlines told Hawaii news source KHON2 that airport employees searched for the cat following his escape, but could not find him. 

"Weeks went by. Months went by and, you know, pretty much we'd given up hope," Hillary Sutherland, the cat's owner, told Honolulu's KITV.

Bogie was missing in Honolulu for more than a year and half -- until Bill Antilla came along.

About six months ago, Antilla, a volunteer with Hawaii CatFriends, spotted something peculiar among the pack of stray cats he tended to near the Honolulu airport: a neutered Siamese cat that was friendlier than the typical stray. 

Thinking the cat might have a microchip, Antilla gained the cat's trust over the course of several months and eventually captured him.

Luckily, Antilla was right. The Siamese cat was Bogie, and his microchip scan showed that his family was living in Detroit.

Domesticated cats are "not used to being on the street," Antilla told Honolulu's KITV. "They don't know how to survive. They get attacked by other cats and get injured. But, this cat is one of the lucky ones."

Soon after, Bogie was being loaded onto a plane to be reunited with his family, 4,500 miles away.

"I honestly didn't think that we would ever, ever, ever see him again so now that we do get to see him and he gets to be reunited with the family, it's amazing," Hillary Sutherland told Detroit News source WXYZ. "It's going to be even better when I get him home."

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