It’s always heartbreaking when a pet goes missing. You search for as long as you can, but at some point you start to think you’ll never see your friend again.
But it’s important not to lose hope entirely. Sometimes miracles happen, and dogs and cats return to us months or even years after they’ve gone missing.
That was the case for one couple, who recently reunited with their lost cat after a decade apart.
When Colin Clayton and Eva Bellamy, from Birmingham, England, headed out on their honeymoon in 2011, accompanied by their three pet cats, according to BBC.
The trip was nothing too out of the ordinary for the couple and their pets: they took the narrowboat canal barge they lived on 25 miles away from home. The cats were used to hopping on and off the boat, and have always known how to get back home if they got lost.
But on their voyage, three-year-old cat Big Ginge went missing, putting a damper on the honeymoon and leaving the owners worried sick.
“The others came back as normal but Big Ginge didn’t, so we stayed an extra five days and walked for miles around the area calling out his name and putting up posters,” Colin told Sky News.
“We registered him as missing on his microchip but unfortunately we had to leave.”
Years passed, and Big Ginge seemed to be gone for good. But recently — a full decade after the cat went missing — a miracle happened.
Earlier this year, an orange stray cat known as “Marmalade” started appearing outside a home. The cat welfare charity Cats Protection became interested in taking the stray to safety to possibly identify an owner.
“I spent three weeks every evening attempting to trap him so I can could scan for a microchip but he was having none of it,” Sue Hocknell of Cats Protection told Sky News.
Eventually, the cat made its way into the home, allowing the group to take “Marmalade” in. Sue took the cat to the vet, scanned its microchip, and found out the identity of the owner.
It turned out that “Marmalade” was actually Big Ginge — still alive and well after 10 years.
The owners were stunned to hear the news that their cat had been found. The reunited with Big Ginge after 10 years apart.
The cat had a lump on its leg, but it turned out to not be anything serious. It’s not clear what he’s been up to all these years.
But even after all this time, Big Ginge has settled into his old home, and the reunited family is making up for lost time, making sure this old cat has a peacefully happy life.
“For now we will be keeping him indoors,” Colin said. “He seems very content and has shown no interest in venturing out.”
“Big Ginge has had enough stress in his life and we are confident it will all work out.”