MOVING from one end of the country to another can be traumatic enough without losing a beloved pet on the way.
But that’s exactly what happened to Olivia Hatcher when her pet cat made a dash for freedom while being put into the back of a car for the big move up North.
But, five months later, the missing moggy and owner have been happily reunited . . . thanks to a microchip.
The cat – whose name is deliberately misspelt Pheonix – was taken to a vet who scanned him to reveal Olivia’s contact details.
Husband Andy made a 10-hour round trip to collect Pheonix after they heard the news.
Olivia said: “Pheonix spent the first night back with me sleeping on my pillow. It was wonderful.
“I know I am just so lucky to have him back. Thank goodness I had him microchipped or we never would have been reunited.
“I don’t know where he has been but he looks like someone has been looking after him,” she said.
The 34-year-old was making the move from Farnborough in Hampshire to Middlesbrough, Teesside, for a new job with the RSPCA when Pheonix made his escape.
He burst out of the car and made a run for it in the direction of the high-speed railway.
Olivia’s husband Andy, also 34, ended up staying down in Hampshire for several weeks, trying to find Pheonix, while his wife set up home in Middlesbrough with their other cats Mishka, Bobo and Nermal.
She said: “We decided we just couldn’t live apart anymore so we had to give up.
“A lot of people would say it’s just a cat but he is part of the family. I have had him 10 years and it was not his fault he ran away, he just got scared.”
Olivia, who is now working as deputy manager at the RSPCA Great Ayton Animal Centre in Middlesbrough, rehoused Pheonix and his sister Mishka more than 10 years ago after they were found abandoned on an old building site.
The RSPCA encourages owners to have their pets microchipped as it believes it is the most reliable way of finding them if lost or stolen. Around half a million animals have been microchipped in the last five years alone.
The quick procedure places a small chip, the size of a grain of rice, under the animal’s skin. The owner’s details and a code are stored on the chip and can be revealed by a special scanner used by RSPCA inspectors and branch staff.
Source: Sunday Sun