NEWS & VIEWS: Gemma Barbieri, a charity shop worker from Thetford, Norfolk, gave her daughter, Alicia, a black kitten, Rose, for her eighth birthday in 2007. In 2008, Rose went missing. They don’t know what happened to her but 13 years later Rose ended up at Cats Protection where she was scanned for a microchip which allowed her to be reunited with Gemma who was stunned to receive the phone call. Rose has been reunited by video call with Alicia who, now 21 years of age, is at the University of Derby. It is yet another example of the power of micro-chipping.
Rose was named after Billie Piper’s character in Doctor Who. When Rose went missing it was a tough and tragic time for the family because it happened a few months after Alicia’s brother, adopted by the family at the same time, had been killed by a car.
The family used to live in Kings Lynn but they moved in 2018 and Barbieri felt guilty because at that time she was still hopeful that Rose would come home and she wanted to be there for her. Fortunately they had micro-chipped Rose and she had been reported as a stray in the King’s Lynn area. And it is also fortunate that Cats Protection were involved and able to scan her at their adoption centre in Downham Market this year.
When she was found she was in good condition and of a healthy weight. This would indicate that she had been living with somebody else in the area or had been cared for as a community cat. As we all know, it is not uncommon for domestic cats to voluntarily move to a different home despite receiving excellent care in their existing home. Indeed, sometimes domestic cats wander off into the wild to live there with hardship when being well cared for in a nice warm home.
Barbieri initially rejected the first call from Cat Protection because she did not recognise the number but they rang again and this time she picked up. She could not believe it when they told her. And, as is also typical of lost domestic cats, Rose settled in incredibly quickly. She picked up where she left off. Barbieri said: “As soon as I got Rose in the car, she was talking all the way home. She settled almost immediately when we arrived home. It was amazing. Within an hour she had eaten, used the litter, explore the whole house and was laying purring on her back while I stroked her belly. She’s pretty much been purring ever since and has settled in completely.”
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