Most cat owners will tell you that their pets always find their way home. For one cat that went missing in England, the journey home took 15 years.
Cat owner Janet Barnes says her cat Winston went missing in 2002, roughly six months after she moved in with her husband, Peter. She says it wasn’t unusual for Winston to venture off on his own. But one time, he didn’t come back, perhaps distraught at his new life in a home with Peter’s dogs and teenage children.
Naturally, they lost hope of Winston returning over the years. But that was before they received a call from a vet 35 miles from home. A customer of the vet found Winston, and thanks to his microchip, Barnes was tracked down so Winston could be returned home.
“We have no idea where he’s been all these years,” says Barnes. “I thought he must have been living with someone else, but when he was found staggering through the road he was extremely frail.”
Due to his age and appearance, Winston is now strictly a house cat, which should prevent him from running away again. But it also gives the Barnes family more time to enjoy his presence in their lives again.
“It’s nice to have a cat back. He flops in the hallway and in the conservatory, he’s quite happy,” says Peter. “He’s so hungry, that’s what gives us hope that he will be ok. I can’t believe how much he eats.”
Everyone involved says that Winston having a microchip is the reason for this extraordinary story of a missing cat being found after 15 years.
“We get dogs and cats that have been separated from their owners on a regular basis, but none that have been gone for as long as Winston,” said Steve Cox, the vet whose office received Winston from a family that found him on the street. “We don’t know how he managed to make the epic journey.”