The unofficial mascot of the Boston Police Department's Special Weapons and Tactics team arrived back at the agency's Roxbury base Thursday. The cat had been missing since late November.
"Everybody was shocked. They were really surprised," Officer Evon Burroughs said. Many feared the cat, regarded by some officers as a good-luck charm, was dead or lost forever.
In December, police hung fliers and posted notices online in search of the calico that often lounged and slept atop the officers' Bearcat, a large armored vehicle parked at the station.
Suesan Williams, who does tailoring work for many of the department's officers, and helped police care for the cat, said the furry stray was emaciated and looked hungry when it reappeared. She said she suspects the cat may have been trapped somewhere without access to food.
"The minute she got out, for some reason, she went to where she knows her home is," Williams said.
An officer sent Williams a photo of the orange, black, and white cat Thursday announcing its triumphant return.
"It's a great day," Williams said. "They love that cat, and take care of her, and she takes care of them. She takes care of the rat and mice population at the base."
Burroughs said if the cat decides to leave again, "it is what it is." But while she's at their headquarters, SWAT Cat will have a bed to sleep on.
"A lot of people are pretty excited that she is back," he said.