Cat Missing 9 Months Returned Home With Microchip!

Great article from the Peninsula Daily News in Washington!  http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20110725/news/307259997/cat-returns-home-after-missing-9-months-microchip-key-to-finding

[AACCC Note:  You can get more information on what to do if you loss your pet or if you find a lost pet on our blog.  We also had a similar local story about a cat named Bingo in a recent post!]

Cat returns home after missing 9 months; microchip key to finding feline’s Port Angeles owner
 

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Shelle Fuchs holds her cat, Edmund, who was missing for nine months before being found and returned, outside Fuchs’ Port Angeles home Sunday. — Photo by Chris Tucker/Peninsula Daily News

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Edmund the cat is a wandering cat.

Edmund returned home earlier this month after a nine-month odyssey that will remain a mystery to everyone but the cat himself.

How the partially disabled, neutered, 12-pound, orange tabby traveled two miles and survived for nine months, no one knows, said Mary Beth Wegener, executive director of the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society.

How he found his way home was no mystery.

“Unlike most cats who come in here, Edmund had a microchip,” Wegener said.

Lost in September

Edmund went missing on Sept. 18, 2010, from Schelle Fuchs’ home on West Ninth Street, having slipped out though an open window the first night after arriving in Port Angeles from Minneapolis.

Fuchs was working at a veterinary hospital in June 2009 in Minnesota when Edmund was brought there as a tiny kitten along with the rest of his litter.

Edmund had broken his right rear leg in his first few weeks of life, and by the time he arrived at the veterinary hospital, it had already set badly and healed.

She fostered the litter and adopted Edmund.

Edmund could get around, but the leg was crooked and awkward, so he never did become much of an outdoor cat, she said.

She posted missing cat posters, put up notices on Internet forums and notified the Humane Society and local veterinarians, but came up empty-handed.

“After the six-month mark, I was discouraged,” Fuchs said.

“At nine months it hit me, Eddie was gone” she said.

On July 1, Fuchs threw away the last of the posters and the cat food she was saving for his return.

Less than a week later on July 6, she found a message on her phone — Edmund had been found and was at the Humane Society shelter.

Found in July

In May, Aleta Sorensen, who lives near Race and East Sixth Street, noticed that two new cats appeared in her yard.

A neighbor saw a pickup truck drop off the pair of orange tabbies, Sorensen said.

The big male was thin and dehydrated, she said.

Sorensen began to feed him, and eventually his nervous young female companion joined him.

The big cat was friendly and clearly had been loved at some time in the past, but the small female was skittish and afraid, she said.

After a month of asking neighbors if they owned the big tabby and checking with area veterinarians for lost cats, the female showed signs of pregnancy.

It was time to take the cats to the Humane Society, Sorensen said.

“I didn’t want the kittens to grow up feral,” she said.

But that week was the Fourth of July celebration, and fireworks made the cats skittish and hard to catch.

“I would almost have one, and someone would set off a firework,” she said.

After three days, she finally caught the big cat and took both to the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society on U.S. Highway 101.

From there, the Humane Society took over.

The smaller cat was in rough shape and extremely pregnant.

Two days later the smaller cat had two kittens, which are under the care of the Humane Society with their mother.

“The big cat had a funky leg, like it had been broken and healed strangely,” Wegener said. “Otherwise he looked pretty healthy.”

All animals that arrive at the shelter are scanned for microchips but few have them, she said.

To the surprise of the staff, the big cat had a microchip, which provided the information needed to find his owner.

An hour later, Fuchs arrived at the shelter and was reunited with Edmund.

A microchip success

Edmund’s story is a testament to the advantage of microchipping pets, Wegener said.

The process is simple — a tiny microchip, about the size of a grain of rice, is injected just under the skin of a pet, near the base of the neck and shoulders.

They can be placed in almost any animal, from guinea pigs to horses.

The chip itself is inert, encoded with the owner’s name, address and phone number or an identification code to access information through a third-party organization that manages owner information.

Hand-held chip scanners read the area where microchips are placed, and if there is a chip present, display the encoded information.

Unlike a collar and tags, a microchip cannot slip off or be lost.

Microchips can be placed by veterinarians or at microchip clinics, and typically cost $30 to $50 for microchipping and chip registration.

Here’s a cute video done by a Girl Scout Troop on what to do if you loose your pet:

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