Barbara Oliphant of Bedford said she began feeding the cat, which she dubbed Wollie, last summer, but she had to turn it over to the Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire, about six miles away, when her husband of 61 years suffered a stroke and she was no longer able to care for it, WMUR-TV, Manchester, N.H., reported Tuesday.
Oliphant said she kept the cat in her thoughts and her daughter secretly adopted Wollie from the Animal Rescue League when her husband began to improve, but the cat fled in the facility's parking lot.
Oliphant said it was three and a half days later when Wollie turned up in front of her home.
"I said, 'That's Wollie.' I just knew it was him," she said. "He was so exhausted, so tired, so hungry."
Animal Rescue League officials said Wollie must have known where he wanted to be.
"This cat obviously knew where his home was and wanted to get back there as soon as he possibly could," said Laura Montenegro of the Animal Rescue League.