Cat Reunited With Owner After Spending Over a Decade Living in Cemetery

A cat who went missing in 2009 has been reunited with his owner.

Tom, a black-and-white cat, was discovered by Anna's Rescue Centre living with a stray in Cathays Cemetery, in the Welsh capital Cardiff.

"They were both straying in the cemetery together and had clung to each other over the years," Anna Mason, from the rescue center, told Newsweek.

"There is a house within the cemetery. The people that lived there just assumed they were strays and locals fed them over the years."

Eventually, a member of the public got in touch with the rescue center in the hope of tracking down the cats' owners. The pair were taken in by the charity and brought to a vet for treatment.

It was soon discovered that Tom was microchipped, meaning he had an electronic tag under his skin containing information about his owners.

The chip told a remarkable story: Tom had been missing for 12 years. Anna's Rescue Centre had previously reunited a cat with its owner after eight years, but this would be a new record.

Eager to track down his family, the charity posted an appeal on Facebook on Thursday afternoon.

"We are looking for a lady with the last name WHITE who lives or used to live on Claude Road," the post read. "This lady's cat Tom went missing 12 years ago! We have him here safe and sound!

"Please share, let's make a dream come true and give everyone with a missing cat hope."

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Incredibly, that dream quickly became a reality. Within a couple of hours, Tom's owner, Donna White, got in touch.

The charity revealed in a follow-up post that White was taking in both Tom and his stray friend, who is unwell and may not have long to live.

"The owner thought she was dreaming," the rescue center said in an update posted on Facebook. "She's absolutely overjoyed, in a state of shock and never thought she would see him again."

Footage of Tom's heartwarming reunion with White was shared to Facebook on Friday afternoon. In the clip, Tom's emotional owner can be seen approaching her pet as she fights back tears, telling him: "I missed you so much."

Tom and his friend are safe at home now and White has even reorganized her house to give the pair their own room to help ease them back into domesticated life. Eventually, they will be introduced to her other cats too.

At the ripe old age of 20, Tom can look forward to seeing out his final years in the company of someone who truly cares for him.

Looking after older cats and strays in the latter stages of their life is a fundamental part of the work of Anna's Rescue Centre.

"If you can provide love to a cat at the very end, don't let that chance pass you by," Anna Mason told Newsweek. "It's heartbreak for you but it's everything to them. It's a reward like no other. We all want to go surrounded by love, we just need to be strong enough to give it."

A cat reunited with their owners.
Tom the cat and his owner Donna White. Tom went missing from their home in Cardiff, Wales, in 2009. Anna's Rescue Centre