Rachel Wells, a veterinary nurse, lost her cat 14 years ago. It was before the age of Facebook and social media. Finding a lost cat was more difficult in those days. Rachel and her partner spent months searching. At the time he was called Snitch; named after the golden ball in the Harry Potter films. The year was 2003. They put posters up and stuffed leaflets through front doors. Miss Wells had to assume that her cat had decided to live somewhere else or had been run over. They never stopped thinking about him.
Snitch had become a stray cat after he left his home. He was a stray cat for 2 years when he wandered in to a local museum, the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley, West Midlands, no more than 3 miles from his original home. Mr Roger Colbourne was working in the carpenter’s shop at the time. He found Snitch hiding under some wood.
He decided to snare his lunch with Snitch and that was the beginning of a fruitful and enduring relationship. Snitch returned the next day and Mr Colbourne formed a very special bond with his new cat companion who he named Tiger. He says that he cannot imagine life without his companionship. At one time he nursed Tiger back to health at his home over Christmas. He was shocked when he found out about Tiger’s former life. This moment happened earlier in January 2017.
Miss Wells received a telephone call to inform her that her cat had been found thanks to Tiger’s microchip which was being updated. So fourteen long years had elapsed since Tiger had ambled out of his life with Ms Wells and her partner. It is one of those cases when a loved cat leaves home. As I discussed in a previous post it may have been because of tensions over territory outside the home.
Ms Wells in an act of both kindness and good sense decided that Tiger should stay at the museum and remain with his close human companion, Roger, who is aged 70. He has worked at the museum for 27 years.
Sometimes when lost cats are found a dispute follows as to ownership. There have been some poor decisions as to who keeps the cat. In a strict sense the ownership of the cat remains with the original owner but with domestic cats strict laws concerning rights of ownership don’t really apply and certainly not after 14 years. Ms Well’s decision is clearly the right one.
Tiger is now a working cat. He is the museum’s pest controller.
Source: Daily Mail (hard copy)