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Missing cat returns home after seven years

30 December 2014
Missing cat returns home after seven years 30 December 2014

A ginger cat that went missing for seven years is back home in time for the New Year thanks to a microchip and Cats Protection’s Bridgend Adoption Centre.

Nine-year-old cat Garfield is back with his owner, Julie Calder, after he disappeared from her home whilst out on a prowl seven years ago.

Then, in December 2012 Garfield turned up at a house in the same area as his original home. Mistaking him for a stray, a lady looked after him for two years before bringing him to Cats Protection’s Bridgend Adoption Centre when she could no longer care for him.

The centre scanned Garfield for a chip and, though it showed up an old address, the centre did a bit of extra detective work and managed to track down Julie who had since moved house.

Julie came to collect Garfield from the centre today (Tuesday 30 December) in an emotional reunion. She said: “I am over the moon to have Garfield back home after seven years. I never stopped thinking about him and wondering where he was. He is going to be very spoilt now!”

Having been very grumpy during his time with Cats Protection, Garfield visibly relaxed as soon as he saw his owner.

Sue Dobbs, Manager of the Bridgend Adoption Centre, said: “Julie just picked him up, something we haven’t been able to do, and he proceeded to lick her face. Apparently he used to do this before he went missing. It was lovely to see.

“It’s a great feeling to reunite Garfield and Julie, especially at this time of year. Thousands of cats go missing every year and sadly almost one in two never return so we’re grateful that in this case at least there’s been a happy ending.

“If you own a pet cat that isn’t already ‘chipped then now is the perfect time to make a New Year’s resolution and talk to your vet about the procedure. Microchipping cats, and keeping the contact details up-date, significantly increase the chances of happy reunion if those cats should ever go missing. And if you are feeding a stray too, then consider ringing a local animal charity or a vet to see if a scan may reveal a microchip.”

Microchips contain a unique identification number and are inserted under the cat’s skin between his shoulder blades. The number is linked to a database containing details of the pet, as well as the owner’s contact details. When a scanner detects the microchip, a simple phone call can ascertain the owner’s details and the pet can then be quickly returned home.

Cats Protection’s Bridgend Adoption Centre is part of a national network of more than 250 volunteer-run branches and 31 adoption centres that together help over 194,000 cats and kittens every year.