A local Medivet vet is urging owners to microchip their pets after reuniting a family from Bracknell with their cat, Cuddles, who went missing nine months ago.
Angela Brien and children Caitlin (13) and Ciaran (9) moved from the Bullbrook area of Bracknell to Harmans Water in August 2018. They tried to keep Cuddles, a 2-year old black cat, inside their new home during the move, but disaster struck when he managed to escape less than six hours after moving in.
The devastated family searched far and wide, putting up posters and contacting neighbours and local vets but to no avail and, by Christmas 2018, they gave up hope of seeing him again.
In May, a man from Harmans Water took a stray cat which had been living in his garden to Medivet Bracknell Harmans Water to be checked for a microchip. When the cat was scanned, the Briens’ contact details came up. The practice contacted Angela straightaway and, within 20 minutes, she and the children were heading to the Ralph Ride-based practice for an emotional reunion with Cuddles.
Angela said: “The day of the move was exhausting and we tried really hard to keep Cuddles confined downstairs but, somehow, with all the coming and going, he managed to escape through a window. He’s always been a cat who loves the big outdoors. We were all very upset and tried really hard to find him for the next few months. Eventually, though, we had to admit defeat and thought he was gone forever.
“In recent months, I’ve been contacted on several occasions by people who thought they might have found him but it has always been a false alarm so when I took the call from Medivet, I was gobsmacked and didn’t know whether to believe it at first. We rushed down to see him and, when we realised it really was Cuddles, there were tears all round.
It’s wonderful to have him back and I’m so glad we had him chipped.
She added: “We will keep him inside for the next four weeks to help him get used to his new home. It won’t be easy, given his love of the outside world, but we are determined to succeed this time.”
Medivet branch partner Chris Felstead said: "The anguish of losing your pet can be made worse if you never find out what happened to them so we strongly recommend getting your pets microchipped. In fact, for dogs, it’s now compulsory by law.
“Microchipping is a simple and inexpensive procedure in which a tiny device no bigger than a grain of rice, is implanted under the skin in your pet's neck. Each chip carries a unique identification number, together with your contact details, which are held on a central database. Should your pet go missing, if they are handed into a vet, they will be scanned, your details will be found and you will be contacted. Please do remember to update your contact details should you move.”
He added: “We were delighted to reunite Cuddles with Angela and her children. He seemed none the worse for living rough for the last nine months and we hope that he decides to stay put from now on.”