So when Dexter suddenly stopped coming around, they were more than a little worried.
"My wife started to fear the worst as the street behind us is a busy road," Eric Sabio tells The Dodo. "So she started going to the animal shelter sites to see if he would pop up."
On Saturday, she thought she saw a picture of Dexter on a shelter's Facebook page. But when her husband got there, he found instead a cat who only resembled their long lost stray.
That cat was scheduled to be euthanized that day.
And, even if he only happened to be there by accident, Eric was likely his last visitor.
"I had already met him and he rubbed his head in my face," Eric says.
How do you walk away from a purring, cuddling cat who had just moments left to live?
Well, Eric didn't.
A little later that day, Parker awoke from a nap to find a box in front of him.