Thanks to a microchip, a Dutchess County, New York cat who accidentally escaped his home 11 years ago has been reunited with his owner.
The reunion between Tiger and his owner, Maggie Welz, took place Thursday. It was made possible after Dutchess County SPCA staff member Carol O’Connell finally got close enough to pet a stray cat who visited her home on occasion over the past three years. Some days Tiger would show up and other days he wouldn’t.
Carol stated during an interview with ABC7 News
“Each year he came to my house, he deteriorated more and more each year, and that’s when I realized either somebody just abandoned him or he just was missing or lost or he was just a feral cat. This spring he started to come around a little bit more in the mornings so I started to work harder to try to gain his trust.”
Carol felt there was something unusual about Tiger and borrowed a scanner from the shelter. Tiger was microchipped and Maggie was located after more than a decade without her beloved cat. Maggie told ABC7
“Unfortunately somebody opened our door and he ran away and never returned. So we were heartbroken and we ended up a year later moving to another house about 10 houses from that house and we told those owners to keep an eye out for him but he never returned.”
Tiger is around 14 years old now. He was given a clean bill of health. Maggie says there was never any other thought other than to bring Tiger home. The family had missed their cat, who was only three years old at the time of his escape, and the family wanted him back. Maggie credits Carol and her son for their persistence and dedication.
“I have no idea where he was for the years in between, I’m sure he could tell us many tales, but the thing is that he is now home with us and he will be with us for the remainder of his life.”
There are a lot of happy reunion stories out there every day. Very, very few of them involve cats who weren’t microchipped. Whether a cat escapes the home by accident, during a natural disaster, a fire or a burglary, a microchip is the best chance a lost cat has at being returned to a worried owner.