Seven years is a long time, but even after all that time, Smokey the cat was found and returned home.
Smokey the Cat is home with his guardian, Denise Bilowus, after having been missing for seven years.
When Bilowus got the text message from her niece, she stared at her cellphone in disbelief, although she’d always held out hope that Smokey, who disappeared in April 2002, would one day be returned to her. She even made sure that her phone number remained the same whenever she moved so that the animal services could contact her. No one knows where Smokey has been in the interim, and Smokey isn’t talking.
Animal services personnel were able to trace Smokey to Bilowus because of a small tattoo on his ear. Bilowus said Smokey’s journey is testament to the benefits of marking your pets with permanent identification via a tattoo, a microchip, or both.
Jennifer Smith of Delton Veterinary Hospital says, (for microchipped pets) “… as long as the owner is really diligent and makes sure (they know) which company their pet is registered with … (they’re) covered throughout Edmonton and internationally.” The downside is that because the chips lie beneath the animal’s skin, the person who finds it cannot immediately identify it as a stray, and the animal must be scanned to get a reading on the chip. “I still say, get your pet tattooed,” adds Smith.
Bilowus is taking no chances. Smokey now has a microchip as well.