A seriously ill 22 year old cat who had been missing from home for TWO decades was reunited with its shocked owners after being handed over to the RSPCA!
Phoebe was found alone in a field in Bridgemere near Nantwich last week and took the older pet to the RSPCA’s nearby Stapeley Grange Animal Center.
The center staff found that Phoebe had a microchip and were surprised that she had actually been adopted from Stapeley as a kitten.
And unbelievable, they were also able to track down their enthusiastic owner Christina Ball – and were amazed that Phoebe was 22 years old and had disappeared into her house 20 years ago.
Phoebe was cold and wet when she was found, so she was warmed up with heat pads before she was sent for veterinary treatment.
She had seizures and was found to be in very poor health with a brain tumor and was put to sleep.
But Phoebe was allowed to spend two days in her house, where she was very much loved by the 59-year-old owner Christine, who lives near Nantwich.
Christine said, “We were absolutely thrilled when we got a call from the RSPCA to say they found Phoebe.
“She went missing when she was only two years old – and we think someone probably took her and she got lost somehow – because she always stayed close to home and didn’t venture far.
“We looked for them with neighbors all those years ago and published leaflets, but to no avail.
“The vet said she did not survive 20 years as a stray and we believe someone probably took her in and looked after her as her pet.
“We’re not sure why she’d get lost so late in life, but maybe her owner was taken care of – who knows in these strange times?
“We’d like to know who took care of her just to find out about her life after she left us.”
Christine said she was grateful that the RSPCA tracked her down in time to say goodbye to her beloved pet, thank you
to their microchip.
She added, “It was sad that we found her and we had to let her go so soon – but it was nice to have some time with her, especially since she really needed comfort during her hour of need.
“It graduated us and we’re grateful that she reached such a ripe age – someone else must have looked after her really well. We are very grateful to the woman who found her and brought her to the RSPCA. “
Lee Stewart, manager at the Stapeley Grange Animal Center, said, “This underscores why microchips are so important to your pet and why it is crucial to let the chip manufacturer know if your contact information changes.
“We see many instances where we would like to reunite cats with microchips with their owner, but we cannot because the details have not been updated.
“We reunited cats that have been missing for a number of years, but I have never come across a cat that has been missing from home in 20 years – it’s pretty amazing – as well as the fact that she was going to old age lived for 22 years.
“The circumstances were sad, but at least she was with those who really took care of her at the end of her life.”
It is a legal requirement to microchip dogs, but it is not against the law to leave other pets such as cats and rabbits without a chip.
However, the RSPCA would encourage all owners to microchip their pets.
Microchips are a very quick and easy process in which a tiny microchip is quickly and easily inserted under the animal’s skin. This gives the pet its own code.
Thousands of pets are lost every year and many are never reunited with their owners, but microchips can help change that.
For more information on microchips, visit www.rspca.org.uk/microchipping