Did you hear about Jessie the homesick cat that allegedly walked 3 000km from far northern Australia to the other end of the continent?

I just can’t believe it, although I accept that cats – and dogs – may have the limited ability to retrace their steps because I’ve seen supporting evidence.

Once my family moved house about 5km, accompanied by our cat Jet.

The following day, Jet vanished and eventually we found he had taken up residence in a tree opposite our former home. Nothing would persuade him to come down: he just kept climbing higher. Further visits were in vain, and then he was gone for good.

The dog in this story is Lassie, a cross collie/setter we rescued from the SPCA kennels where she had been left by a couple who was emigrating.

She came with us willingly, but as soon as our backs were turned she was gone. We searched the area for hours before reluctantly giving up.

The next morning we were about to resume the search when who should appear but a panting, limping, thirsty Lassie. We surmised that she had returned to her old home, to find it vacant or occupied by strangers.

Anyway, she never left us again. And we’ll always treasure the memory of the most lovable pet you could wish to own.