Napoleon called the English a race of shopkeepers, but that has since changed to pet lovers. People devour stories of pets returned to their owners years later. The missing times vary from 4 years, five years, seven years and this is the second that has been absent for 8 years.
A vet, 20 miles away, found the missing feline wandering the streets 8 years later and scanned his microchip, with an identification number which is linked to a database containing details of the pet, as well as the owner’s details, and contacted his owner.
The sad thing is that the cat didn't remember his loving owner, who had never forgotten him during his missing years. Eight years for a pet is about 50 in a human, so it's no wonder. At least he's settled in his former home and is loved.
When nobody claimed her, we welcomed Blanche into our home, where she slotted in happily. She would come for walks with me along the beach, although she stayed in the sand hills and kept a watch on where I went. Too adventurous.
One day she disappeared.
Our town swelled to bursting point in the summer holidays. The garage on the other side of the street leading to the yacht bay always had cars outside waiting for attention. In all the tumult of visiting friends and teenage upsets, we feared the worst, never knowing what had happened to her.
Two weeks later, she staggered in the side gate. I was outside at the time and couldn't believe my eyes. Her paws up to the elbows were worn and bloody, her coat was matted around her thin body and she promptly heaved up the remains of a lizard.
Our theory was that she'd ventured into one of the surfer's vehicles and unwittingly hitched a ride to the nearest town 30 miles up the coast. Her homing instinct must have been so strong that she walked all the way back, staying alive by eating wild creatures.
Animal pets are wonderful.