Interlude: Home Again with an Unexpected Surprise

Photo by Emre Camcıoğlu on Unsplash

by Mingming Shi

What is it like one returns home after being away for several months? Would one be happy to see home again, but with new family members already there? Recently, questions about returning home have been hovering over the mind of Gunnlaugur, a cat in Iceland.

As RÚV reported, Gunnlaugur [in Icelandic] is an orange cat living near Hofsós, a small and lovely village on the Skagafjörður Fjord in northern Iceland. One day in the middle of June, this adventurous feline went out as usual but didn’t return home at night, and then the legend began.

In the beginning, the family took the situation in stride [in Icelandic], because it is normal for Gunnlaugur to disappear for one to two and even three days sometimes, due to his roaming and hunter-like personality. However, this time, it was not a short trip as before. The family started to become concerned after a few days since he left home and looked everywhere they could to find him. Months after he went missing, the family finally gave up after numerous attempts and got two new kittens, even though they still missed Gunnlaugar very much. 

Miracles sometimes happen when things feel hopeless, which happened to the family of Gunnlaugur. By chance, a picture of the cat was found on Facebook from a person staying in Varmahlíð, another small town almost 50km from his original home, where he was taken care of by a nice lady. It was unclear how the cat could have traveled that far away. Perhaps he was transported by a car ride by accident, as the owners of Gunnlaugur, Freyja Amble Gísladóttir and her boyfriend, suspected.

Finally, Gunnlaugur made it home after such a long and unbelievable journey. Ironically but not surprisingly, the family wondered whether being reunited with his human family or having his favourite tuna food again was making Gunnlaugur more happy. However, the story did not have a typical happy ending, highly likely because Gunnlaugur does not live in Disneyland. This cat was reluctant to welcome the two new kitten family members and was even caught attempting to nudge them out. According to Freyja, there were hopes that the cats would eventually get along.