Nina Shackley and her family went on a holiday in the summer of 2019, but when they came home they were missing a family member. 

Loki, their beloved cat, had escaped their Heartland home while they were away.

Shackley says they searched long and hard for Loki. 

"I advertised on some of the local community Facebook pages with his pictures to see if anybody had seen him. With this being a new area in Heartland with building work going on, these animals can get scared. We walked around and walked around, but I must admit that after a month of that, we had pretty much given up hope."

Fast forward a year and a half and the phone was ringing. It was the Cochrane and Area Humane Society calling. 

She says "A family in Fireside, of all places across the river, found Loki under their deck and after awhile I think they assumed that he was homeless so they took him to the Cochrane Humane, who identified his ear tattoo."

Shackley was in shock. 

"I didn't believe them until I had actually seen him. This was the day before New Year's Eve so myself and my daughter went down to Cochrane Humane, and as soon as I saw his face, I knew he was mine."

No one knows how Loki crossed the railroad tracks or the Bow River, or what he was up to for a year and a half, but that doesn't matter now. 

She says "He's doing really well. He's a good weight and he looks like he's been healthy and happy and he eats a lot."

It's like he was never gone. 

"He just knew he was home, he sniffed about. We kept a blanket that belonged to him. We never wanted to throw it away to show that we were reminded of him, in fact my daughter crocheted it. We never washed it, he went straight to the blanket, sniffed it and he hasn't been off of it since. That's where he sleeps, on the blanket."

Shackley says it still hasn't fully sunk in that he's home again. 

"It's still not really gone in. It's just incredible. Every time I look at him I can't believe he's back with us, I mean, what are the chances? It's a miracle. It's just a new year miracle."

Kitty Loki laying on the blanket Shackley's daughter made for him.