It’s always devastating when a pet goes missing. You search everywhere, but at some point are faced with the reality that you might never see your friend again.
But it’s important to not lose hope entirely: sometimes miracles happen, and lost pets return home months or even years after they disappeared. That was the case recently, after one long-lost cat was finally found 11 years after his disappearance.
A volunteer with Cats Protection’s Aberdeen Branch, the largest feline charity in the UK, got word about a stray cat who had been hanging around a recycling center, and went out to track down the tabby cat. Thankfully, the stray had a microchip that could identify his owner — and everyone was surprised to learn how far he was from home and how long he had been away.
The information led them to Fiona Mutter, who was stunned to hear that her pet was found — the cat, named Fergus, had been missing for 11 years! “It was such a surprise to get the call that Fergus was alive,” Fiona said. “He was always prone to wandering and would sometimes go off for a few days at a time, but one day he just never came back. We sadly assumed something had happened to him.”
Perhaps fittingly, he was found by the same charity he was adopted from about 15 years ago: “We adopted Fergus as a kitten from Cats Protection and he’d been with us for four years before he disappeared,” Fiona said.
“We are extremely grateful to the Cats Protection volunteer who went above and beyond to get Fergus home.” Not only had it been a decade since Fergus disappeared, but he was also 80 miles away from Fiona’s home in Forres, Scotland. It isn’t clear how he ended up all the way in Aberdeen. “To hear that he was still alive and had ended up so far away was such a shock,” Fiona said.
It also isn’t clear what exactly Fergus has been doing for the past decade, but it’s likely he’s been living in someone else’s care: “His coat is so shiny, and he’s so friendly, that there’s no way he has been living outside all this time,” Fiona said. “Someone has been taking good care him.” Fergus is now a senior in cat years, but even after more than a decade apart, the old cat is making himself at home — and his owner is happy to make him comfortable as they make up for lost time.
“When he returned home, we put him in the spare bedroom where it was quiet so he could get used to being in the house, and then introduced him slowly to our other cat, Ozzy. He was soon happy to be handled and stroked; he has such a loud purr! I did buy him a cat bed but he prefers lying on the actual bed!”. Reuniting with a lost pet after 11 years apart is miraculous — but it’s also all thanks to microchipping. The simple procedure makes it possible to identify the owners of lost pets, no matter how long they’ve been away from home.
“Every day, we see how important microchipping is for cats and for the people who care for them – whether it’s reuniting a lost cat with their owner, identifying an injured cat, or helping to ensure an owner can be informed in the sad event that their cat has been hit and killed by a car,” says Alice Palombo, Cats Protection’s Advocacy & Government Relations Officer for Scotland.
The charity is currently campaigning to make the microchipping of pets compulsory in the UK. We’re so glad Fergus has been found after all these years. We know his owner is overjoyed to have her beautiful cat finally back home. Remember to get your pets microchipped — that’s what makes happy reunions like this possible!