Giles Coren let down by veterinarian over his missing cat Mo Tenzing

Esther Walker, Giles Coren and Mo Tenzing
Esther Walker, Giles Coren and Mo Tenzing. Photo: Tom Jackson. Problem publishing it here? Please leave a comment.
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Giles Coren and his wife, Esther Walker, adopted a couple of kittens in around September last year. He was delighted as was his children. He named one of them Mo Tenzing after Mo Salah the Liverpool forward and the Mountaineer Tenzing Norgay who climbed Mount Everest for the first time with New Zealand’s Edmund Hillary.

Mo Tenzing went missing. He is clearly an indoor/outdoor cat and Giles describes what happened on his Instagram account. He is actually furious with a veterinarian because he thinks that they could have done a lot better under the circumstances.

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He’s back! Mo Tenzing, missing since mid July, turns out to have been living in a flat in Camden with a lady who thought she’d adopted him. She took him to the vet five weeks ago, who found his chip and saw fit to give her the serial number but not look it up on the database to ascertain who’s cat he was – only told her how to go about changing his owner details. Only when she tried to do this did we learn where he was. It’s a crap system and vets must do better. Weeks of heartbreak for us, thinking he was gone forever, and now for this lady and her family, having to part with a cat they thought was theirs. Come on vets, it’s not hard. Check for chips as a matter of routine, run the database, and if the person presenting the pet is not the owner, get in touch! You’re happy enough charging astronomical fees for piddling treatments, the least you can do is give half an arse about animal thieves… Still, the best member of the Coren family is back where he belongs – at least for the moment – and we’re over the moon.

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Mo Tenzing went missing in mid-July and he ended up living in a flat in Camden. Giles Coren lives in Kentish Town, I believe. The woman who took him in appears to have overfed him because he became fat. She took him to a veterinarian. We don’t know the reason. Perhaps it was because he was overweight! The vet scanned for a microchip, found it and gave the woman the serial number but allegedly did not look it up on the database to find out who owned a cat. Apparently the vet told her how to go about changing the ownership details. Comment: the vet seems to have been an accomplice in an act of theft! This is an allegation!

The Coren family were distressed by the loss of Mo Tenzing. He says that it caused them weeks of heartache believing that he had gone forever. So they were very upset and now this lady who took in Mo Tenzing is also very upset because the Coren family managed to get their cat back. He had to talk the woman into it and agreed to pay for a replacement cat. That was very nice of him I thought and very sensible because it unlocked the logjam.

These sorts of disputes can end up badly. This is not the first time that this sort of thing is happened and in previous stories I’ve noticed that the person who took in the cat ended up keeping him or her. The Coren outcome goes against the grain.

Giles Coren criticises the vet. He writes on his Instagram page:

Come on vets, it’s not hard. Check for chips as a matter of routine, run the database, and if the person presenting the pet is not the owner, get in touch!

Of course, the vet should have told the lady that she had taken in someone else’s cat and therefore he did not belong to her. He should then have contacted Giles Coren or Ester Walker and explained that his cat had been found.

Mo Tenzing is serving an ASBO. To international readers, in the UK, ASBO stands for “Antisocial behaviour order”. It is normally dished out to feckless teenagers who’ve been naughty.

According to Giles, Mo Tenzing is a Burmese/shorthair cross, “in honour of a childhood pet”. It looks like he wanted to adopt a cat that reminded him of a cat he was fond of in his childhood. He bought the cat from a breeder in September last year for the price of £250. Mo Tenzing has a Burmese cat face but is a tabby cat. He says that he is the “George Clooney of cats”. He’s very handsome. But Giles could have done better himself and adopted an unwanted cat from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home which is not that far away. If you buy cats you leave one unwanted shelter cat on the shelf. I’ll forgive him though as he makes me smile.

1 thought on “Giles Coren let down by veterinarian over his missing cat Mo Tenzing”

  1. Here in America, at least where I live, veterinarians take microchipping and maintaining proper correlating ownership very seriously. I’m more than surprised at the lack of ethical responsibility or discipline of the particular vet in this story. Just shocking.


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