A cat who went missing nine years ago has now been reunited with his owner thanks to the RSPCA.
Spike, a black and white cat, went missing from his home in Thornville Close, Leicester, with his sister when they were kittens after venturing into his garden back in 2010.
Then last month a concerned member of the public reported seeing a stray cat wandering around St James Road in Shepshed so they alerted the RSPCA.
RSPCA Inspector Susan Hammond found the cat which residents said had been a long-term stray. He had been sleeping in nearby gardens and a lot of neighbours had been feeding him.
Inspector Hammond took the cat to nearby vets to check his health as she could see he had an eye infection. Whilst their the friendly feline was scanned for a microchip which contained the last known address of his owner.
Inspector Hamond called the telephone number which was out-of-date and so she visited the address and was pleasantly surprised that after nine years she had found Spike’s original owner, Victoria Roberts, who was delighted to hear her missing pet had finally been found.
Victoria 36, who lives with husband Danny said: “He was only three months old when he and his sister Ruby were exploring in the garden when suddenly they ventured off and we couldn’t find them.
“We looked everywhere and asked neighbours but there was no sign of them – so after so long we feared the worst. Then five years later we were told that Ruby had been run-over as her microchip was traced to our address so we assumed the same thing had probably happened to him as they were always together.
“So, it came as a huge shock when – after nine years – the RSPCA contacted me to say they had found Spike and he was able to come home. We were also surprised he was found 15 miles away from where he went missing and assume he may have hitched a ride in a car of someone took him but didn’t want him.
“It is amazing to think he survived all these years outside and apart from an eye infection, which was treated, appeared in good health.”
Victoria a nurse, said Spike has now settled back into home life despite living on the streets for so long.
She said: “He enjoys going out and about but is home for breakfast and for tea. I don’t think he remembers me from when he was a kitten because he was so young, but he likes my company and purrs when I go near him.
“I’m just so glad I had him microchipped or there is no way I would have got him back.”
Inspector Susan Hammond said: “When I found the contact details on the microchip I thought with such a long period of time the owner may have moved and not updated them so I was delighted when I found they were still valid.
“Victoria was delighted that her cat was safe and well after all this time. He had a slight eye infection which was treated with antibiotics but apart from that was in good health and he is such a friendly chap.
“It is great to have a happy ending like this and just goes to shop the importance of microchipping your pets.”
It is a legal requirement to have dogs microchipped, but it is not against the law to leave other pets, such as cats, without a chip. However, the RSPCA would encourage all owners to get their pets microchipped.
Thousands of pest are lost every year and many are never reunited with their owners, but microchipping can help to change that. While collars and tags can get caught or removed, microchipping identifies pets permanently and effectively.
New figures show that of the 5,171 cats which came into the 17 natural RSPCA centres in England and Wales in 2018, there were 4,320 cats that were not chipped.
For more information about microchipping, visit the RSPCA website, www.rspca.org.uk/microchipping.