After losing her cat 14 years ago, Rachel Wells had long given up hope of ever finding him again. Desperate searches for the pet – called Snitch – had been fruitless and Miss Wells had since moved out of the house she once shared with her pet. But miraculously, earlier this month, the veterinary nurse received a call to inform her Snitch, now 15, had been found alive and well, Daily Mail Online reports.
Miss Wells said she was ‘gobsmacked’ to hear the good news about her cat, who was traced via updated details in his microchip.
And having seen how loved he is at his new home, the 33-year-old has said she is happy for him to stay there.
She said: ‘He was just over a year old when he went wandering. We never knew what happened to him. We were gutted.’
Miss Wells and her partner spent months searching for the cat in 2003, putting up posters and leaflets through doors.
But, in the days before Facebook and social media, she says it was hard going and ‘we never heard anything back’.
She assumed Snitch had decided to live somewhere else or had been run over – but never stopped thinking about him.
However, after about two years as a stray the cat found a new home at a local museum, was given a new name and came under the care of a new owner.
Snitch was originally named after the golden ball in the Harry Potter sport of Quidditch. But after being taken in by the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley, West Midlands – three miles from his original home – he was renamed Tiger. He has lived there as a pest controller ever since.
He is cared for by Roger Colbourne, 70, who has worked at the museum for 27 years and first met ‘Tiger’ 12 years ago.
Mr Colbourne was working in the carpenter’s shop on the museum site and found the cat hiding under some wood.
‘I gave him some of my lunch and he never stopped coming back,’ he said. Mr Colbourne said the pair have ‘a special bond’ and he ‘can’t imagine life without his companionship’.
The cat’s new owner, who once nursed him to health at his home over Christmas, said he was ‘shocked’ when he found out about his former life. But Miss Wells, who works for White Cross Vets in the Midlands, is not bitter about the cat’s new home.
She said: ‘He gets fed fish and chips every day by the museum, he couldn’t have asked for better than that. Roger has had him a lot longer than I have and he is so well loved.’
Photo: Bruce Adams / Daily Mail.