When Natasha Johns’s cat went missing this winter, she had no idea that the furry hobo would be found more than 400 miles from home.
Charlie, a 1-year-old black and white cat, disappeared in mid-February from Tywardreath, a village in Cornwall, England.
Johns and her partner, Ross Saundry, scoured the town in hopes of finding their errant feline. They spent months knocking on doors, putting up flyers, and trying to tempt Charlie back into their arms with her favorite treats, all to no avail.
“We went round the town shaking cat biscuits and did everything we could think of to find her, but after a few weeks you give up hope,” said Johns.
Then, three months later, Johns got a call saying that Charlie had been found in north Wales, 403 miles away. She was so shocked that at first she thought it was a hoax.
An RSPCA inspector had found the cat on May 19 in the town of Llanfaethlu, in the Holyhead district of Wales. Charlie was “in a lot of pain and really frightened” and her collar had become embedded in her leg.
While Charlie was receiving vet treatment, RSPCA officers noticed a tiny barrel attached to her collar. They opened it and found a telephone number and postal code.
They were surprised when their research revealed that cat apparently lived in Cornwall. Nonetheless, they called the number.
Johns was “shocked and quite emotional” when the RSPCA officers told her that her cat had been found so far from home.
“I have never even been to Wales so have no idea how she got there,” she said.
“I guess that Charlie hitched a ride and it would be interesting to hear from anyone who might be able to tell us the rest of the story,” said Mike Pugh, the RSPCA inspector who reunited Charlie and Johns.
“Animals can literally turn up hundreds of miles from home, months and years after they go missing,” he said.
Johns and Saundry have decided to have Charlie microchipped, just in case she gets in the mood to take another epic journey.
“I really didn’t think I was ever going to see Charlie again so to have her home is wonderful,” said Johns.
[Source: BBC News]