Cat is reunited with his owners after going missing four-and-a-half years ago

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A cat which went missing from his home four-and-a-half years ago has been reunited with his owner at a Market Harborough veterinary practice.

Town and Country Veterinary Centre is urging owners to get their cats microchipped as it was only because he had been chipped that he was found. While dogs are now required to be microchipped by law, cats are not currently covered under the same legislation.

Ebboneza, a 15-year-old cat, is owned by Samantha Rafferty who now lives in Hinckley. She says that he went missing, with all three of her other cats from her home in Nuneaton, in 2013. The other three were returned to her several weeks later but Ebboneza was never found and, eventually, Samantha gave up hope of ever seeing him again.

On January 18, a member of the public brought a cat to Town and Country Veterinary Centre in Harborough. They had moved into a house in the town and found him living there as a stray. At the practice, student veterinary nurse Grace Costall scanned him for a microchip and found Samantha’s details. They were reunited at the practice with Samantha bursting into tears when she saw him.

Grace said: “I’m a great cat lover so I had a lump in my throat when I saw how happy they were to be together again.

“After such a long time, it seems amazing but because he was microchipped and Mrs Rafferty had kept her details up to date, even though she had moved house, we were still able to contact her and she was overwhelmed to hear he’d been found.”

She added: “Microchipping involves the implantation of a small device about the size of a grain of rice into your pet’s neck. Each chip carries a unique identification number, together with the owner’s contact details, which are held on a central database.

“Should your pet go missing, if they are handed into a vet or an animal charity, they will be scanned, your details will be found and you will be contacted so that you can be reunited with your animal delay.

“This can save days, weeks or even years of uncertainty because you never know what happened to them.

“We hope Ebboneza is enjoying life in his new home and is getting on well with his old friends!”