A Watlington woman is urging pet owners to keep microchip details up-to-date after her beloved cats Chas and Dave were reunited after more than a year apart.
Helen Kybert, 45, said she was “devastated” when Dave disappeared a few weeks after moving home to Watlington in October 2019.
Ms Kybert, a data officer at Downham Market Academy, said: “I was devastated. The thought that Dave was gone for good terrified me.
“Family and friends knew how much I valued my cats. I had recently left a relationship and was starting life on my own, so they were very important to me. They were and always will be a great comfort to me.”
She said it took her many months to come to terms with the thought that she would probably never see Dave again.
But, Chas And Dave had been microchipped as 11-week-old kittens, and Ms Kybert had updated the microchip database with her new address.
And 16 months after Dave went missing, Ms Kybert received a call to say he had been found.
“When they said they had my boy, and he was alive and well, I cried and cried,” she said.
“Someone must have been feeding him and I have to be grateful to them for that. Without that care and people reporting him as a stray, Dave wouldn’t have survived to return home to us,” she said.
Ms Kybert said Dave has settled well with Chas and the three-year-old cats have been snuggling up again.
She said it was important for people to get their pet microchipped and keep contact details up-to-date.
“It only takes a few minutes to do. If I hadn’t updated Dave’s microchip details, who knows where he would be now,” she said.
Becky Piggott, senior cat care assistant at Cats Protection’s Downham Market Adoption Centre, said: “Dave’s owner was shocked when I called to say we’d found him safe and well, just two miles from his home.
“She was over the moon to get him back. I love making these kind of phone calls, although all too often, it isn’t such a simple story. Too many people forget to update their details on the database.”