Sunday, January 29, 2017

United Kingdom: Fourteen years after her cat disappeared, woman finds he's been living the good life just three miles away

UNITED KINGDOM -- A veterinary nurse has been reunited with a cat she lost 14 YEARS ago after it was found living just three miles away - at a museum.

Rachel Wells, 33, spent months searching for one-year-old Snitch after he went missing in 2003.

She put up posters and gave out leaflets but eventually assumed he had been run over or decided to live somewhere else.

But incredibly after two years as a stray the adventurous cat found a new home at the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley, West Mids.

Staff noticed the cat had set up home in the grounds of the open air attraction, which is three miles from his old home with Rachel.

Roger Colbourne, 70, who has worked for the museum's maintenance team for 27 years, quickly took a shine to the new resident who he named Tiger.

The cat has lived there as a pest controller for the last 12 years and is a regular sight for visitors who wander around the grounds.

But last week Rachel was reunited with her lost pet after a microchip scan revealed his true identity.

Rachel, who works at White Cross Vets in Wolverhampton, said: "Tiger was 18 months old when he went to play out 14 years ago but he never returned.

"I spent months putting up posters and trying to find him but it proved fruitless.

"However working as a veterinary nurse means I've seen a number of pets reunited with their owners after long periods of time so I never gave up hope and each time I moved house I always updated my contact details on his microchip.

"When he finally reappeared after all these years I couldn't believe it and especially because he's now living so close to me."

Rachel made the short trip from her home to the museum to see Tiger for the first time in 14 years last week.

But after seeing the bond the cat now has with museum staff she decided to register his microchip with Roger so he can continue to live on the site.

Rachel added: "He gets fed fish and chips every day by the museum, he couldn't have asked for better than that.

"Roger has had him a lot longer than I have and he is so well loved."

Roger was working in the museum's carpentry shop when he first met Tiger after he found him hiding under some wood.

He said: "I gave him some of my lunch and he never stopped coming back.

"I see him almost every day and the maintenance team all have a special bond with him, someone's always fussing him.

"I lost my dog Rose over Christmas but seeing Tiger every day really helped me through that, he's such an affectionate cat.

"Still we can't help but feel duped, I thought someone had abandoned him when the truth was he had run away from a perfectly good home and loving owner."

(The Sun UK - Jan 23, 2017)