By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Frosty the cat finds way home
Cat takes 2 years to come home
Frosty the cat came home just in time for Christmas. Patti Davenport gave Frosty to a friend. He was missing more than a year and a half after he ran away and slowly made his way back home from Smartt Station to Main Street McMinnville.

Who hasn’t heard the old adage if you love something, let it go. If it comes back, it’s yours.
Local resident Patti Davenport knows that saying is true.
“When my husband Royce passed away in July 2014, I had to sell the house and move,” said Davenport. “I had to make a tough decision. I had five cats. I decided I would take three with me and find good homes for two of them. That’s what I did. We stuck it out until December. Then, I moved into my house in January of 2015.”
The two cats, including one named Frosty, were sent to live with a friend – transported in a pet carrier from urban living on Main Street to a rural setting on a farm in Smartt Station. Frosty ran away from home as soon as he was set loose on the farm.
“I was so upset,” said Davenport. “I would go to the farm and call for him and ask around about him. He wasn’t seen again. Royce and I rescued Frosty in 2011. We were at a friend’s house in Rock Island. I heard a cat meowing. I looked up and he was in a tree. He was pretty high. It took me two attempts to get him down.”
Frosty slept in Davenport’s lap on the ride home but he bonded with Royce.
“Frosty has a huge personality. My daughter-in-law says he’s more like a dog than a cat. He loves to play. Royce wasn’t that fond of cats, but Frosty took to Royce immediately. He is really a man’s cat. He adored Royce. Even when Royce was going through the hardest part of his cancer treatments, he would get up in the hospital bed with him at the house and sleep with him. He absolutely adored Royce.”
Royce passed away on July 1, 2014. Davenport says Frosty showed all the signs of a pet grieving its missing owner.
“When Royce passed away, he was very unhappy. He would go and sniff at Royce’s chair and look at me like ‘what have you done with him? He’s supposed to be here. I can still smell him so where is he.’ It was so sad to watch him looking for Royce.”
Frosty was gone from December 2014 to October 2016.
“The house on Main Street had been for sale for two years. It was going to close on Oct. 31 of this year. I thought I better stop by there and see if there’s anything left I want. There was a huge crawl space with a pet door so the cats could get in. I opened up the door and turned on the light and there he sat. He was in the chair that he used to sleep in before I gave him away. I started crying so hard I couldn’t talk. My sister-in-law came over and sat with me until I got through my breakdown.”
A veterinarian determined Frosty was in perfect health.
“He must have stopped some along the way. He was as healthy as he could be. I took him to the vet and he said it’s the healthiest cat he’s seen. He spent all that time somewhere. I took him to the new house and I kept him in for a few days because I was afraid he would take off. He hasn’t. He’s home now and here is where he’s staying.”
How Frosty found his way from Smartt Station to Main Street is still a mystery.
“There’s no way he could have known where he was being taken. He was in a pet carrier in the back of a Suburban. We even stopped at Dollar General and bought cat supplies. He couldn’t have seen where we were going. How in the world he made it from Smartt Station to Main Street, I have no idea.”
The question of why he returned home is a little easier to answer.
“I believe he loved Royce so much he was determined to come home and he did. He’s the most loving and affectionate cat. He gets wild sometimes, but he’s just a sweetheart. Royce isn’t here but I guess with me is as close as he’s going to get to him. This is somewhat of a Christmas miracle, given his name and all.”
Frosty was named due to Davenport’s love of the Christmas cartoon “Frosty the Snowman” and his white fir that glistens in the sun. However, he doesn’t melt like his namesake.