Missing cat reunited with owner after seven painful weeks of worry

Elderly cat Fred went missing from his new home in Cleethorpes for seven weeks before he was rescued by the RSPCA and reunited with his worried owner – thanks to the microchip.

It was 6.20am on March 30 and the cold, snowy weather had just set in when 14-year-old tabby and white cat Fred went missing from his home in Grosvenor Court.

His owner Debra Holden had moved there with her family and pets just a few months before, after living at their previous home for 11 years. It wasn’t like Fred to go wandering far and he hadn’t fully settled into their new home after the move so Debra soon became sick with worry when he didn’t return.

She said: “We put up posters on lamp posts, posted on lost and found sites and trawled the streets looking for him but there was no sign. I work at a vets and my daughter is a vet nurse so we were hoping he might be brought into the vets but again there was nothing.

“I was just getting to the point where I thought we wouldn’t get him back when the RSPCA officer turned up – I was so shocked!”

For the last two weeks a kind member of the public had been feeding Fred but they contacted the RSPCA as they thought he was very skinny and sick and were concerned for his welfare*.

Animal Rescue Officer (ARO) Hannah Williams attended in Humberston, Grimsby, on 16 May to help poor Fred who was actually in a fairly good condition. She scanned him for a chip and immediately saw that he had been registered as missing. She quickly popped Fred in her van and drove to the address registered on the microchip before knocking on the door to a stunned – and very relieved – Debra.

Hannah said: “From the moment I saw he had been registered as missing, I just knew we were going to get a happy ending. I phoned the number on the chip but no one answered so I drove over to the address instead. I was surprised to see it was just a three minute drive away! It is a very busy road which Fred may have struggled to cross especially if he was disorientated with moving to a new area, but I couldn’t believe just how close he had been.

“Someone had been feeding him for two weeks but we have no idea what happened to him for the other five. The weather was so bad too, he was really lucky to make it through.

“When I arrived at Debra’s house with Fred she burst into tears she was so happy! And when I told the kind caller who had kept an eye out for Fred that he had been reunited with his owner she burst into tears too – so we had two very happy cat lovers!”

Debra is now building Fred a catio in the garden as she explained this is not the first time he has tried to wander off – he’s also been known to get inside Tesco delivery vans!

“As he’s getting older now, we think it’s best to keep him close by so we’re building him a fantastic catio so he’s a bit safer but can still potter around the garden.” she explained. “It was just too painful to lose him like that, it was such an unpleasant experience and I never want it to happen again.

“We changed the details on his microchip as soon as we moved. I know from working at a vets just how important it is, and thank god we did or I don’t think we ever would have seen him again.”

The RSPCA would always urge owners to ensure their pets are microchipped, and the details kept up-to-date, so that if they become lost or injured they can easily be reunited with you. It is compulsory to microchip dogs and we are pleased that the Government is due to bring in compulsory microchipping for owned cats soon.