A cat which went AWOL almost seven years ago has been reunited with his family – who had given up hope of finding him and moved to France.
Bugsy wandered away from his home and family in Weston-super-Mare back in 2012, and his distraught owners Christine and Robert Holland desperately searched for him, but he was never found.
Three years ago, and with Bugsy a sad memory, the couple moved to France and took their three remaining cats – including Bugsy’s brother Muppet – with them.
For many of us, the summer of 2012 brings back fond memories of the London Olympics, but for the Hollands, now living in France, it reminds them of the summer their Bugsy went missing.
Quite what happened to Bugsy isn’t clear, but he turned up at the RSPCA Brent Knoll Animal Centre, where he was microchipped and his real identity discovered.
“We had a phone call from the RSPCA inspector asking if we had a cat called Bugsy, we were confused and answered we used to but had lost him almost seven years ago,” said Christine Holland.
“She said he was alive and well.
“We were shocked to say the least, thinking the worst had happened, and given up all hope of ever finding him. We even asked for a photo of him to be sent to us to reassure us that it was in fact our Bugsy.
“As we still have his brother, we told her we would like to bring him over to France to reunite with us,” she added.
“The RSPCA looked after him and arranged the necessary treatment needed for a pet passport and we had to wait three long weeks before we could come and collect him.
“He is now settled with us and our other three cats, six years and 10 months after we lost him. We would never have got him back if we hadn’t had him microchipped as a kitten. A huge thank you to the RSPCA for getting him back for us,” she said.
The RSPCA described the discovery as ‘miraculous’, and said it was a timely reminder to all pet owners to get their animals microchipped.
“We were shocked to find out from Bugsy’s owner that they had lost their cat nearly seven years ago,” said Nikki Tutton, the centre manager at RSPCA Brent Knoll.
“This is a fantastic example of how pets can be reunited if they are microchipped and the details on the chip are correct.
“Microchipping your pet gives them the best chance of being identified and returned to you if they become lost – and that was certainly the case with Bugsy,” she added.
“It’s always fantastic to be involved in a happy ending – and we’re so delighted we were able to get Bugsy back to his family.
“Every animal who comes in is always scanned for a chip, and we will do all we can to trace the owner.
“While it is heartbreaking to lose a pet, if they are microchipped there is a small part of reassurance that should they be found they will make their way back home to you,” she said.
“But is is also worth reminding people that if you do chip your animal, please always update the details should you move.
“While it is a legal requirement to have dogs microchipped it is not against the law to leave other pets – such as cats – without a chip. However, the RSPCA would encourage everyone to get their pets microchipped,” she said.