18-year-old cat does 128 mile walkabout

Gemma with George
Gemma with George reunited. Picture: Caters
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This is an astonishing story of a geriatric cat of 18-years-of-age going on a 128 mile walkabout from his home in North Wales to a town near Leeds in the North of England. His name is George and he is a tabby-and-white cat. In between his home in Llanrwst and Brighouse (where he turned up) there are many hazards including motorways and a river. They presented no barrier to George. Another aspect of this story is that Facebook played a lively and highly effective role in reuniting him with his human caretaker thanks also to microchipping.

George was found 5 weeks after his disappearance. His owners are Stephen and Susan Davison and their daughter Gemma Lemalle. George had disappeared for 2 weeks and they had given up ever seeing him again. To their amazement they discovered on Facebook that he had made the equivalent of a journey from London to Birmingham. This distance takes about 4 hours by public transport.

Mrs Davison, 68, says that he is a very curious cat but that he has never travelled far and wide like this before. He was picked up by a paediatrician living in Brighouse, Julia Hill. She said:

“George just turned up outside my house one morning. I took him to the local vets to see if he was chipped and they found he was registered to an address in North Wales. I posted his picture and the details I had on a Facebook page, Yorkshire Cats Lost and Found, and before I knew it, Gemma gave me a call.”

I wonder how Gemma decided to search on the The Yorkshire Cats Lost and Found FB page. The power of a combination of micro-chipping and Facebook is awesome in reuniting cats with owners. It took no time at all. Gemma is very thankful that he was looked after so well by Julia: “We can’t thank you enough for taking such good care of him for us…”

This might be a record when you combine the age of the cat with the distance travelled. In addition, this is not a cat returning to his home after the owners had relocated to a new home some distance away. This is cat who wanted to go walkabout at an age that is about the limit of the average lifespan for a domestic cat.

It begs the question as to why he did it. He could only have done it because you wanted to. The reason why wanted to do it is because he has, like all domestic cats, the call of the wild inside him. Perhaps the story is not that astonishing.

8 thoughts on “18-year-old cat does 128 mile walkabout”

  1. Dear Michele_ Thanks so much for this information *
    My birthplace is located in Prestwick,Ayrshire Scotland- a short train ride from Edinburgh.

  2. Thanks Michael_I am just assuming that a cat can suffer from dementia as senior citizens [humans] do. Does anyone know about this possibility occurring in cats or other animals ? Please submit your input on this subject.

    • Eva: Researchers from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland were the first to show physical changes in the brains of cats with suspected dementia. They believe that as many as 1 in 10 cats(aged 15+) could be suffering a form of dementia. Longer lifespans and an increasing number of cats living indoor only (less mental stimulation) were cited as the two main factors.


  3. Curious George may have dementia_after all he is very old. I couldn’t be happier that he is back home.George is one very lucky cat I think and very loved.
    Eva say’s

  4. What a story! I’m surprised that the cat wasn’t hurt. I didn’t know that Facebook had a “lost and found” page. I wonder how many people do.

    I do believe in micro-chipping as the best way to unite lost pets with guardians, in spite of some risks. I’d rather take that chance.

  5. I’ve read of several cats who travelled around 1,500 miles, but that was to reach their homes. It’s very unusual for a cat to wander such a great distance away from home.

    Perhaps curious George sneaked inside a delivery vehicle and that’s how he ended up so far away. Or could he be experiencing the beginnings of dementia and simply became lost and unable to find his way home?

    The vet who scanned George for a microchip would have been obliged to notify the owners and often they will take the pet into their custody until the owner can collect. (That’s what happened when my sister found a microchipped Bengal.)

    Glad there was a happy ending and hope that George won’t be quite so adventurous in future.


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