Nigel The Parrot
A British man named Darren Chick was living in California with his parrot, Nigel. The bird was learning to talk and even adopted Darren’s British accent when it spoke. In 2010, Nigel managed to fly away, and Darren never found him.
Four years later, someone else found Nigel and brought him to a veterinarian. They scanned his microchip and returned him to Darren, but the parrot no longer spoke with a British accent. Somehow, in his four years away, Nigel had learned to speak Spanish.
Corky The Terrier
In 2009, one-year-old Corky, a scruffy little terrier mix, escaped from his kennel in Texas. He had been a gift for the young children of the Montez family. Nearly seven years later in 2016, someone reported seeing two little stray dogs. They were wandering together by the side of a road. Animal control workers picked up the dogs and scanned them for microchips. They were able to contact the Montez family, who reunited with Corky after all those years.
During his time away, Corky had become best friends with a younger, one-eyed dog. The family named him Captain. From the dogs’ behavior, it was clear that Corky had looked after Captain like he was a little brother. Corky makes sure that Captain always eats first and protects him by standing guard.
Opie The Horse
In 2002 in San Antonio, Texas, a woman named Michelle Pool was admitted to the hospital to have surgery on her back. Her father did not have a stable, so Opie stayed enclosed by a wire fence in his pasture. Someone clipped the metal fence in the middle of the night, led Opie to a horse trailer, and drove away with the stolen horse. Ten long years later, she received a phone call that they had found Opie. He was allegedly found by a pastor in Dayton, Texas, over 320 kilometers (200 mi) away from where Opie had been captured.
According to the pastor’s story, he had seen the horse wandering on the side of the road and just happened to have an empty horse trailer available to bring her home. The Dayton sheriff’s department hired a group of contract cowboys to raid the house of the pastor, and they recovered Opie around 2:00 AM the next day. There was not enough evidence to convict the pastor of theft, but Michelle was reunited with her long-lost pet.
Charlie The Cat
In Hampshire, England, in 2006, Jo and Ade Haigh began to worry when their indoor-outdoor cat, Charlie, did not return home for dinner. They posted signs and searched for the cat all over town for several months. After giving up on ever finding Charlie again, the couple moved to a different town a few miles away. In 2012, six years after Charlie’s disappearance, life was very different for Mr. and Mrs. Haigh.
They were the new parents of twins. Jo’s mother was looking to buy a new house, so Jo took her mother to look at real estate in the old neighborhood where Charlie had gone missing. Sure enough, Jo spotted a cat that looked exactly like Charlie walking down the street where Jo used to live. She scooped up the cat in her arms and knocked on the door of the nearest house. The man confirmed that the cat was a stray that he occasionally fed, but no one knew to whom the cat belonged.