Saturday 3 December 2016

Duo find lost cat after four years

Published 24/12/2010 | 13:21

Maria O'Neill with Colin
Maria O'Neill with Colin

A cat which disappeared four years ago has been reunited with its owners for Christmas thanks to microchip technology.

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Black cat Colin disappeared in August 2006 shortly after Peter and Maria O'Neill moved to Garstang, Lancashire.

Roaming wild as a feral kitten, it was discovered in the Corus steelworks in Middlesbrough.

But the couple became concerned when it did not return from its latest adventure so they placed a missing advert in their local newspaper. They eventually gave up hope and moved away to Ingleby Barwick, Middlesbrough.

Then last month a member of the public noticed a black cat hanging around her garden in Garstang.

She contacted cat welfare charity Cats Protection which took it to the vet to be scanned for a microchip which was found. It was then traced to the O'Neills, who had updated their address.

Mrs O'Neill said: "I couldn't believe it when I got a call to say Colin had been found. It was really the best Christmas present I could have hoped for.

"When I went to pick Colin up, he was quite nervous and cowering in the corner of a pen. I simply said his name and he instantly recognised me. He bounded up to me and stuck his head under my arm. It was just a magical moment and it left me close to tears!"

Mrs O'Neill added: "We're trying to get him used to his surroundings so, following Cats Protection's advice, we're keeping him in for a few weeks to help him acclimatise to his new home. I'm not sure Colin is happy about it: he always conducts a daily sweep of the house and carefully examines all of the possible exit points!"

Cats Protection is the UK's leading cat welfare charity and helps around 215,000 unwanted cats through a national network of 256 volunteer-run branches and 30 adoption centres.

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