09/23/2011 at 08:00 AM EDT
Willow the cat is going home.
She spent five years away from her family in Boulder, Colo., and was found some 1,800 miles away in New York City
. She made headlines, met Anderson Cooper
, and finally, has reunited with the people who thought they had lost her for good.
The entire Squires family – Chris, Jamie, Shelby, Jack and Lola – traveled to New York to meet Willow on Thursday night. Did Willow recognize her long-lost family? "I think so, I think she did," dad Chris told Matt Lauer on the Today
Willow's identity was determined after a microchip scan connected her back to the Squires, but until they saw her again in person, the Squires weren't entirely sure it was their cat. It was, in fact, Willow, and on Sunday, she will fly back to Colorado. As for how she really ended up in New York, the Squires family doesn't know for sure, but they like to imagine Willow was having a great adventure.
"We travel a lot as a family, so it's good to think that she was off doing the same thing," said mom Jamie. "For a 3-year-old [Lola], it's easy for her to think it's an adventure."