Cat Reappears Years After It Went Missing, Makes Friends With Owner's New Cat

A pet cat that was missing for nearly three-and-a-half years was reunited with its owners last month after being found living as a stray.

The 15-year-old tabby, named No-no, disappeared from a neighborhood in Nanaimo, a city on the east coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, in August 2017. It was found near a campground and RV park, more than seven miles from home.

The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA) said in a Facebook post on February 24 that its staff had spotted an ID tattoo on the cat's ear and were able to use the identification to trace its original owners.

"Turns out his name was No-no, and No-no had been missing for 1,258 days!" the BC SPCA wrote in a caption on the post, which attracted hundreds of reactions. "His family was elated to hear he had been found safe and shared their son 'has his best buddy back and No-no now has a warm bed to sleep on and a dish full of food to enjoy.'"

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The owner, Laura Brethour, told Vancouver's Citynews1130 that it was not clear how the pet traveled out of the area and said it was not known to stray far from home.

Brethour told the radio station she was initially confused after being contacted by the shelter about the discovery, thinking it was referencing her current cat, called Mortimer, that was adopted roughly a year-and-a-half after No-no went missing.

Brethour explained: "They said it's a 15-year-old Tabby, and I discovered it was No-no. I was pretty emotional, pretty excited. I never expected him to be coming home."

Brethour said No-no has been getting along "quite well" with Mortimer after returning to its home but does have to compete for a spot on her six-year-old son's bed. "The two cats fight for a spot on the bed now. They have to share bedtime," she said.

The cat has since been microchipped by a vet and will be kept indoors. Brethour noted: "I said, put a chip in him because even though the tattoo worked I thought, on the off chance we move and it happens again, it's much easier to track."

BC SPCA echoed the microchipping advice for cat owners in its Facebook post, writing: "This wonderful story highlights the importance of permanent identification for pets."

The Cats Protection charity says on its website that putting a microchip in a pet cat is the most effective method making sure they are quickly identified if they go missing and owners should ensure their personal details are kept up to date with their vet.

The microchip is smaller than a grain of rice and is put under the cat's skin, between the shoulder blades. The cat won't be aware of its presence following the procedure.

Stock: Cat hiding under car
Stock image: Cat hiding under car. A pet cat that was missing for nearly three-and-a-half years was reunited with its original owners last month after being found living as a stray. iStock