Owner ‘gobsmacked’ as pet cat found two decades after going missing from home

A cat has been reunited with its emotional owner, twenty years after she initially vanished from the family home.

Phoebe, a Tabby cat went missing from her owners home in Nantwich, Cheshire, when she was two-years-old back in 2001, leading her owners to believe that another family had taken her in.

Despite putting posters around the local area as well as delivering leaflets, Christine Ball was left heartbroken when she struggled to locate her beloved moggy.

However, two decades later, the 59-year-old was left collecting her jaw from the floor when she received a telephone call from the RSPCA to say her cat had been found, just seven miles away on March 5.

CheshireLive reports that Phoebe had been discovered in a field, in Bridgemere before being taken to the RSPCA's Stapeley Grange Animal Centre.

It was at the centre when staff discovered that Phoebe had been microchipped after she had been adopted from Stapeley when she was just a kitten.

Luckily, the staff at the centre were able to locate Christine who was astonished that he had been found.

Speaking to the publication, Christine said: "We were absolutely gobsmacked when we got a phone call from the RSPCA to say they had found Phoebe.

"She went missing when she was aged just two – and we think someone probably took her and she somehow got lost – because she always stayed close to home and didn't venture far."

Ms Ball added that vets believed she had been taken in by a family who cared for Phoebe as their pet as she wouldn't have survived as a stray for twenty years.

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Despite her initial happiness after being reunited with her furry friend, Christine faced further heartache when vets became increasingly concerned about her health.

Phoebe suffered from fits as well as a brain tumour, with vet staff deciding that the best thing for the moggy was to be put to sleep.

However, before she said her goodbyes, Phoebe got to enjoy two days at her family home, being doted on by those around her.

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"It was sad that we found her and so soon afterwards we had to let her go – but it was nice to have some time with her especially as she really needed comforting during her hour of need.

"It did bring some closure to us and we are grateful she lived to such a ripe age, someone else must have really looked after her well.

"We are so grateful to the woman who found her and took her to the RSPCA," said Christine.

Lee Stewart, manager at Stapeley Grange Animal Centre: "This highlights why microchipping your pet is so important and it is vitally important to tell the chip company yourself if any contact details change.

"We see many cases where we would love to reunite microchipped cats with their owner but can't because the details have not been updated.

"We have reunited cats which have been missing for a few years but I have never come across a cat missing from home for 20 years.

"It is quite amazing – as well as the fact she lived to the age of 22.

"The circumstances were sad but at least she was with those who really cared for her at the end of her life."

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