A cat waiting for his owner to return has melted hearts online after his picture went viral on Reddit.
Posted on Thursday, William Bradley Pilapil—who uses the handle Independent-Tap7452 on Reddit—shared the picture of his cat Philip with the caption: “My cat Philip who has been awaiting my return home for 2 years.”
Half British Shorthair and half Scottish Fold, Philip is four years old and has been away from his owners for almost two years, since March 18, 2020.
Pilapil told Newsweek: “Because of the COVID-19 pandemic I had to accompany my mom to Hong Kong where she works as a flight attendant. The Philippines was not seen as a safe place for us so we had to, in essence, flee before all the flights were closed.”
Despite COVID-19 restrictions now being lifted in the Philippines, Hong Kong is currently experiencing another wave of the virus. “Hong Kong is not doing well right now,” said Pilapil, “and I would have to leave my mom.”
A survey by Statista found that pet ownership soared in the US during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some 14 percent of Americans reported that they acquired a new pet and 70 percent of Americans from all generations reported spending more time with their pets as a result of social distancing regulations.
The picture of Philip the cat awaiting his owner’s return has delighted the internet, with the post receiving over 22,000 upvotes and hundreds of comments.
“Poor Philip. I bet he misses you,” said one comment. Another user wrote: “What a precious, handsome boy! I hope you get to snuggle your cutie soon.”
The cat’s adorable expression in the picture caught lots of attention, with one user writing: “He just looks so lonely! I wanna hug the sad right out of his eyes!”
Pilapil hopes to be reunited with his kitty in the coming months. He said: “I hope to be back with Philip within a couple of months probably in July or August, but that is still uncertain.
“Philip is a cute cat who deserves a lot of love and cuddles.”
Another commenter on the Reddit post shared a similar experience: “Same thing with my cats, it’s been only four months but I won’t be able to see them for a year probably. When they hear my voice over the phone they always come to see me. I know how you feel.”
This week, another cat caught attention online for her hilarious expressions when she was snapped reacting to her “trial period” at a new home being extended.