An overjoyed cat lover has described the magical moment when she was reunited with her missing moggy seven weeks after he had mysteriously disappeared.
Roxane Liddell, from North London, had searched endlessly for five-year-old Mart, putting up posters highlighting his disappearance online and regularly driving around the local area calling out his name.
She admitted she was slowly losing hope of seeing her beloved pet again before receiving a joyous phone call from Village Vet in Longstanton, Cambridgeshire, saying Mart had been handed in and was safe and well.
Roxane said: “When Village Vet called with the good news, I honestly couldn’t believe it. I was so relieved and totally amazed that he had managed to get all the way to Cambridge 50-odd miles away.
“I just dropped everything and got going as soon as possible. When I walked into the consultation room it was a real “Aaaaaah” moment for everybody.
“I cuddled him and he was rolling around. It was very emotional. I’ve had him since he was 12 weeks old and since then he’s curled himself around my heart.”
The joy of the reunion was in stark contrast to the shock Roxane had experienced seven weeks earlier and she still vividly remembers the awful moment in mid-May when she realised her precious pet had gone missing.
Roxane, who is a Village Vet client at our Winchmore Hill practice in North London, added: “Mart was a tiny rescue kitten when I first got him and he’s quite a timid, homely cat who normally follows me everywhere.
“He’d certainly never roam too far from the house. In the evenings, I’d just call him and his sister Mia to come in and they’d both come running.
“On the night in question, though, he didn’t come home at all and when he was still not back the following morning, I just knew something was not quite right.
“I alerted identibase, the microchip pet protection service, I put up posters, went on Facebook and drove around in my car calling his name.
“After seven weeks, I was losing a bit of faith but I didn’t totally give up. I tried not to imagine the worst-case scenario and just hoped someone had taken him in and he was living his best cat life somewhere else.
“To now have him home again is wonderful but I’m keeping a very close eye on him. I even slept downstairs with him on the first night he was back!
“I’m working hard to make him feel safe and secure again and let him re-establish himself back here but in two or three weeks I’m hoping he’ll be fully settled again and we can all go back to normal.”
An example of why microchipping your cat is important
Student veterinary nurse at Village Vet Holly Anderson was involved with reuniting Mart and Roxane and said it was a perfect example of the value of microchipping pets.
Holly explained: “We now know Mart had been in the Cambridge area the entire time as he was seen around here for the first time just a day or two after his owner had reported him missing.
“One of our clients eventually realised something was wrong. He’d been hanging around her property for weeks but neither she nor her neighbours recognised him.
“She managed to befriend him and brought him into the practice to see if we could help. Thankfully, he’d been microchipped and we used the details on it to call his owner who lived 50 miles away.
“She was extremely happy to hear the news and overjoyed when they were reunited later that day in one of our consulting rooms.
“Mart had clearly been missed and his owner was so grateful to have him back safe and well.
“It demonstrates just how important it is to have your pet microchipped and to keep the details on the chip up to date.
“It means when a lost cat is brought into us, we can locate and contact the owners straightaway.
“It is also incredibly important to bring any cats that you are concerned about into the vets straight away so we can check details and get them reunited sooner rather than later.
“Don’t leave them roaming, start feeding them or adopting them assuming they are a stray as they often have a good home and an owner who is missing them a lot.”
The team at Village Vet are also urging pet owners to be aware of a change in legislation which is making it compulsory for cats to be microchipped.
Current cat owners have until June 10, 2024, to microchip their pets in order to comply with the new law. As part of the new laws, kittens must also be chipped before the age of 20 weeks.
The law also requires owners whose cats are already microchipped to ensure their details are up to date.
Learn more about microchipping your pet here.