Purr-fect sleuthing leads to cat and owner reunited

Amy McNeill and 'pet detective' Vicky Gresty.
Amy McNeill and 'pet detective' Vicky Gresty.

A STRAY cat who’s probably used up a few of his nine lives in the last year tor two has been reunited with his owner thanks to some detective work by a student veterinary nurse.

The cat went missing from his Kent home nearly two years ago and was found wandering and lost in Southam.

No one knows how Tinkerbell came to be in Southam – around 170 miles away from his home in Ramsgate.

But the moggie’s luck changed when he came under the watchful eye of Vicky Gresty.

She was on duty at the Avonvale Veterinary Centre in Southam when Tinkerbell was brought in for a health check and routine blood test by the Cats Protection League.

Vicky said: “They had found him as a stray and asked me to give him a thorough check-up before putting him up for rehoming.

“I scanned him for a microchip and contacted the national Pet Log database and was amazed to see that its owner lived in Ramsgate.

“However, when I telephoned the number given it was out of date, so I couldn’t contact the owner.”

Then Vicky, who lives in Rugby and has been with Avonvale for three years, had an idea which would help put cat and owner in touch again.

She began work to trace the veterinary practice that had inserted the microchip.

And she was then able to get up-to-date details and put in a call to the owner Amy McNeill.

She said: “I couldn’t believe it when she rang to say that Tinkerbell was alive and well.

“It took ten minutes for it to sink in – then I started to cry.”

Ms McNeill quickly made plans to catch a train to Leamington and then a taxi to Southam to be reunited with Tinkerbell.

She said: “He was about a year old when he went missing and we had given up on ever seeing him again.

“My son Jake asked about him every day and he was really excited about seeing him again.”

How Tinkerbell got to Southam is still a mystery.

But the knowledgeable staff at Avonvale said it has been known for cats to find a snug place to go to sleep in vehicles such as furniture removals vans and awake to find themselves hundreds of miles away.