Cat similar to the Allan family’s pet who went missing 11 years ago.
(Photo Credit: Aleksandr Zubkov | Getty Images)

Missing Cat Returns to Family After 11 Years

The Allan family experienced what they are calling a “Christmas miracle” after their missing cat, Toby, returned home after 11 years, as reported by The Independent. Toby disappeared in 2012, during a time when the Allans were moving five miles from Galley Common to their present residence, The Long Shoot, in Nuneaton — a town in England.

Fast forwarding 11 years, someone discovered the 14-year-old, white, mixed-breed moggy around nine miles away in Bedworth.

A local woman found Toby and contacted Cats Protection, who was able to reunite the cat with his family. Justine Allan shared her joy with the PA news agency, saying, “It’s like a Christmas miracle.”

The 52-year-old retired learning support assistant was in shock over the unbelievable reunion, expressing surprise at how Toby “hadn’t changed that much at all.”

Reflecting on the initial turmoil of Toby’s loss, Allan stated that the pet held a special place in her youngest son Charlie’s heart, who is now 23 years old. Toby was Charlie’s pet. “He wanted a cat when he was eight years old, and we got him Toby from the Cats Protection League when he turned 12,” she explained.

“I don’t think Charlie’s slept all night, he’s really in shock,” she further added. “He’s been in and out, in and out and looking after him.”

Missing cat’s return highlights the importance of pet microchipping

According to Allan, Toby’s microchip played a crucial role in bringing him back home. Cats Protection had microchipped Toby as a kitten. Moreover, Allan pointed out that while the address on the microchip was out of date, the phone number remained unchanged. “I have updated my address to where we live now,” she said. “I want to say how important it is to microchip.”

Despite being aware of Toby’s microchip, she hadn’t really considered the importance of it until now. It was astonishing for her that despite all the dangers Toby might have encountered daily over the past 11 years, he was able to return home.

On Saturday night, Lorraine Conroy — a Cats Protection volunteer — scanned and picked Toby up from a flat in Bedworth where the local woman found him. Allan said Lorraine “was so lovely,” adding that “[s]he really went above and beyond.”

The staff at Cats Protection asked Allan if she was ready to have Toby return home, especially now that she has a new eight-month-old dog named Bernie. “Straight away, we both said we’ll have him back,” Allan confirmed.

“So, we got him as soon as we could because it just feels like he’s aging, and he’s so lovely and so friendly,” she shared. “It’s great, what’s not to like, we’ve got him back.”

Madison Rogers — who is in charge of advocacy and government relations at Cats Protection — told CoventryLive, “It is always wonderful to hear stories like Toby’s where a cat and owner have been reunited thanks to their microchip after so many years apart.”


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