TAMPA (FOX 13) - Sometimes what seems impossible can actually happen.
Lyne Delmonte was travelling with Loomis Brothers Circus, painting kids’ faces and giving pony rides. Wherever she went, so did her Maine coon cat, Niko. She had raised him since he was a week old.
“All my animals are like my children,” Delmonte told FOX 13.
Town after town, Delmonte would let him out of her trailer, and he would come back – that is, until the circus played Laurens, South Carolina, where it performed several shows. Then it was time to pull up stakes and move on. But there was no sign of Niko.
“I was devastated,” Delmonte recalled.
The other performers left for the next town. Del Monte stayed an extra day and posted dozens of flyers, in restaurants, laundromats and stores.
“I was so afraid if I left the town without my cat, I would never see him again,” she said.
But eventually she had to leave. After the tour, she came back to the Bay Area with a heavy heart and dwindling hope that Niko would ever come home.
It had been two months of waiting and worrying. During that time, a number of people from Laurens had contacted her thinking they had found Niko, but they all turned out to be false alarms.
Then it came. An email from a woman who seemed to describe Niko to a tee. Still not sure, Delmonte did a video call with the woman. When she called Niko’s name he looked to the camera and came closer.
That was him! Finally.
A local veterinarian microchipped Niko and gave him the shots he needed. He took care of Niko until an animal transportation company was able to bring him here.
“I thought I had lost him forever,” said Delmonte.
Delmonte and Niko will soon be hitting the road with the circus again. But from now on, things are going to be a little different.
“I going to leash-train him,” said Delmonte, and “try to keep him inside.”