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 …