Stray cats who were living at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport reunited at pilot’s home

Two possibly long-lost brothers were reunited when a group of strangers stepped in to help them at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport.

This is the story of Mickey and Milo. Both are short-haired, black-and-white felines who used to call the mean streets of the DFW Airport home. Their journey to reunification took four years, a series of coincidences and a lot of love.

In October 2017, Marcus Vincent was flying into Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, a passage he had made hundreds of times as an airline pilot. During the flight, which was making a layover in Boston, Vincent’s co-captain told him about a friendly stray cat who had been hanging around Terminal C Gate 21 at DFW Airport.

As a cat lover and owner, his interest was piqued. When they stopped in Boston, Vincent grabbed some cat food from a Circle K. When they landed at DFW Airport, they coincidentally docked at Gate C20 and Vincent rushed to the neighboring gate. There, he saw a small, black-and-white cat huddled near the gangway.

He put out the food and immediately called his wife.

“He takes a picture of him, sends it to me and says, ‘This cat looks so scared,’” Debbie Vincent said. “So I said, ‘Let’s figure out a way to get him.’”

The couple lived in California at the time, but. over the next week, Debbie Vincent scoured social media to find a cat rescuer to trap Mickey for her.

Meanwhile, over 1,000 miles away, Mickey was worried, too. He was headed to the vet to get fixed.

A few days prior, Connie Ziegler Stout heard about Mickey, too. Someone had texted her about a stray at the airport that employees were feeding.

One employee said she remembers the day she started feeding him, and the change that came over him once someone showed him love. At first, she would have to completely drive away before Mickey would approach the cans of food she left. One day, he came up and rubbed against her hand.

“Then he started choosing affection first and food second,” she said in a text.

Stout works with Mid-Cities Community Cats, a nonprofit that traps and neuters cats in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Typically, the group practices TNR — Trap, neuter, release. But when cats are friendly and adoptable, they try to find them a home. She drove out to DFW Airport and trapped Mickey — he was the first cat she caught at the airport.

As she was walking out of the vet’s office with a surly Mickey, Stout ran into a friend and told her about the cat. Two days later, that friend, who was active in many DFW cat rescue groups, was contacted by Debbie Vincent — Vincent asked her if she had heard anything about a stray cat found at the airport.

“What are the chances, right?” Debbie Vincent said. “My husband had seen him on Monday and she trapped him on Tuesday.”

Mickey had been friendly enough, but he was still a stray cat — when the couple first met him, “he put the fear of you-know-what into me,” Debbie Vincent said.

But in time, Mickey warmed up to his new home. He loves cuddling and sleeping with his mom.

“He is the sweetest boy now,” she said. “I honestly believe that you just need patience and love.”


In January 2020, someone contacted Stout about another tuxedo cat at the airport. This one, the person said, was not friendly but needed to be tagged and neutered.

That’s how Stout met Milo.

He did not like people and ran away when Stout approached. Over the next year, she kept tabs on him when she fed the other cats near the airport.

This January, Stout heard from airport employees that Milo had started to let people pet him. She almost didn’t believe it until she went to see him again, and he let her pick him up.

“It’s a miracle that he became friendly,” she said. “Feral cats do not turn around as adults. He was not adoptable. Now, he is so sweet. I don’t know how he got so friendly living at the airport.”

Stout was worried about Milo’s attitude change toward people. He was not afraid of cars anymore and approached everyone.

“I was petting him and this car came by so fast,” Stout said about one of her visits to the airport. “And I was thinking, ‘If Milo gets hit by a car, I don’t know what I’m going to do.’”

She posted several videos about Milo on social media, asking if anyone would be willing to adopt him to keep him safe.

Debbie Vincent saw one of the videos of Milo and immediately thought of Mickey. She and her husband were already planning to move to DFW, so the timing was perfect.

“We commented and said they look so much alike,” she said. “Because of the age, and where they are, they could be related.”

Debbie Vincent said they’re planning on getting a DNA test to determine if they are related.

Last week, the Vincents — who just moved to Argyle — brought Milo home. On Friday, Mickey and Milo met at the house for the first time. Mickey stood on a coffee table to peer into the large crate and say hello to the nearly identical cat inside.

Debbie Vincent encouraged others to give stray cats a chance. The Fort Worth animal shelter is currently overcapacity and needs adopters, foster parents and volunteers. Hundreds of cats wait for adoption at one of the four locations.

“There are so many animals there that just need love,” Debbie Vincent said.