Kaden, a shy Bengal house cat who was missing from his home in Cumberland for nearly three weeks, is back with his owners and catching up on his naps.

“He’s been sleeping all day,” a relieved Katherine Smith said Wednesday.

After the distinctive feline slipped out of their house Aug. 26, Smith and her family placed a full-page ad in The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram for three days and offered a $500 reward for the cat’s return.

Residents for miles around clipped out the description of the striped and spotted cat and searched for Kaden.

The effort finally paid off Wednesday morning when a family in Falmouth that had saved the ad lured Kaden into their home, seven miles from the Smiths’ house.

“He’s very tired,” Smith said, explaining why Kaden couldn’t see any visitors Wednesday afternoon.

Except for the loss of a couple of pounds, the 7-year-old cat was little the worse for wear. “His paws are pretty rough-looking,” Smith said, but there were no injuries to indicate any run-ins with predators.

Smith said her family got a steady stream of calls from people who said they were looking for Kaden or wanted to know if he had been found. “We went out walking and we could actually hear people calling for Kaden. It was just very, very nice,” she said.

Early this week, the people in Falmouth called to say they had fed a stray cat that matched Kaden’s description. They even sent pictures. It was him, but the cat was gone by the time the Smiths got there.

Then “they called us this morning and said they had the cat in their house,” Smith said Wednesday.

Kaden gave his distinctive cry when the Smiths arrived, and again when he got home. After getting a checkup from the vet, he conked out on the bed.

“They are very excited to have him home tonight,” Smith said of her two young daughters.

But the family also was doing its best to let him rest, she said.

Kaden’s rescuers, whom Smith declined to name, did not accept the reward. “They just want a picture of him,”

The reunited family may donate the reward to a local group that helps stray cats, she said.

Kaden had escaped before, around the time of the full moon, but never stayed out long. “We’re thinking that Kaden was maybe trying to make it back to our old house in Windham,” Smith said.

“(The people in Falmouth) said they would never have known about the cat if not for our full-page ad,” Smith said. “It was worth every penny we paid for that ad.”

She wouldn’t say how much that was.

A single full-page ad in the newspaper can cost more than $9,000, although the price of each ad can vary and is private information, said Courtney Spencer, one of the advertising managers for MaineToday Media, publisher of the newspaper.

Staff Writer John Richardson can be contacted at 791-6324 or at:

jrichardson@pressherald.com