Mistaken identity led to a Dorset cattery returning a cat to the wrong family

This is the story of two tabby cats who through a case of mistaken identity has led to one being lost in the Christchurch, Dorset area.

lost cat
Bruce and his owner, who misses him terribly
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Bruce and Oscar were two different cats with two different owners who were both staying at a cattery in Christchurch. They’re identical in markings and temperament, which led to Bruce being sent to Oscar’s home by mistake because Oscar’s owner showed up first.  Bruce quickly vanished from the other home.

Tadeu Vaccari had no idea his two-year-old cat would be turned over to another person. He checked Bruce into the Christchurch Cattery for a 20-night stay while he and his wife went on holiday. When Oscar’s owner showed up at the cattery he was given Bruce by accident. Vaccari received a call about a week into his holiday.

Dawn Pennock from Christchurch Cattery said in an interview with BBC.com

“It’s a very unfortunate case of mistaken identity, to the point where even the customer who collected Bruce didn’t notice any differences in markings, behavior or personality from their own cat, Oscar. The moment we learned of the mix-up I, along with friends and family, did all we could to locate Bruce and returned Oscar to his owner.”

lost cat
2-year-old Bruce is lost

Bruce is still missing. To make matters worse, Bruce is an indoor cat and doesn’t know how to survive outdoors. His owner has been out searching the two-mile radius between his home and Iford Lane where Bruce went missing.

The cattery says they’ve taken internal measures to make sure such a mistake doesn’t happen again and have refunded his boarding fee, which started March 31.

In the meantime, social media is Bruce’s best hope of getting home. He has a microchip. Anyone seeing a cat they believe is Bruce in the Iford Lane area is asked to contact Missing Pets GB.

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