A cat who escaped from a cattery has finally been reunited with his loving family – eight years after he first went missing.
Mo the cat was staying on the outskirts of Swansea eight years ago, while his humans went on holiday for a week.
While one of the family’s cats, Tibby, was waiting for them on their return, they were devastated to find Mo had gone missing.
“We were utterly shocked and heartbroken when we found out that the cattery had lost Mo, our little black cat,” says Izzy Harris, who was a teenager when her beloved moggy, then three, went missing.
Harris and her parents searched for months for their little pet – printing flyers and posters, knocking on doors and putting adverts in the newspaper hoping to find him. But they also knew there was a slim chance they’d see him again, as the cattery was so far from their home.
“I was 15 at the time, and losing Mo really took a blow to my mental health,” Harris, who is a student mental health nurse and blogger, tells HuffPost UK.
“There was something so horrible about imagining him alone and frightened in a scary place he didn’t know.
“The cattery was by some really busy main roads as well so we couldn’t stop picturing the worst, that he’d been hit by a car and that we’d never know.”
After months of looking, the family accepted he was gone, but clung to the idea he’d found someone else to live with and look after him – and they were right!
Mo had moved in with an elderly lady who lived near to the cattery. On October 21, the Harris family received a call from a volunteer at the Llys Nini RSPCA branch, from where they’d adopted Mo when he was a kitten.
“They said they had found a cat matching Mo’s microchip, and that he’d been living with an old lady near where he got lost,” says Harris, now 23.
“Unfortunately, the lady had passed away and the RSPCA had come to collect her cat, when they matched him with his original home – us!”
Harris and Mo, who is now 11 years old, were properly reunited on October 22 and the RSPCA’s Paula Milton said returning him was one of her “best ever jobs” as an animal rescue officer.
“It’s incredible to have reunited Mo with his family some eight years on. We all need some good news at the moment,” she said, adding that Mo’s “incredible” story is a reminder about the “amazing power” of microchipping.
“A tiny microchip can make a huge difference. Mo is a great example of how pets can be returned home years and years later – all thanks to identifying an animal in this way. We’re absolutely thrilled to see Mo settling back into his new home – and he has already taken Izzy’s social media by storm!”
The black cat has a lot of catching up to do – the family now has three other rescue cats. “We can’t ever thank the RSPCA enough for bringing home our little one,” says Harris. “I feel incredibly relieved but also, so hopeful. If this can happen, anything can. It’s made me see the world more positively.”
As for Mo, he couldn’t be happier, she says: “He’s settled in so well, it’s like he never left. He is just as we remember him. He doesn’t want to leave our side.”
I can’t believe he remembers us! He’s just as he was when he went missing! pic.twitter.com/qX1s8oqsvT
— IzzyWanders (@Izzy_Wanders) October 22, 2020
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.