Get ready for another testament to the importance of microchipping!
Ten years ago, then-couple Marna Gilligan and Sean Purdy of London noticed a stray cat lingering around Purdy’s workplace. Despite the fact that she wasn’t too friendly–she was known to bite and scratch at people–they adopted the 5-month-old cat.
They named her Moon Unit Zappa, after the daughter of Frank Zappa, and it wasn’t long before she gave birth to kittens. When New Years’ rolled around in 2008, Gilligan and Purdy had a party–then noticed afterward that their black-and-white kitty had gone missing.
The pair searched neighborhoods and animal shelters for their pet, but to no avail. “We searched for months and had numerous tip-offs but they were never her. We moved on eventually, and she was just part of our memories,” Ms. Gilligan said in the Evening Standard.
As the years passed, things changed. Gilligan and Purdy broke up and moved to separate residences. But last Friday, they got a blast from the past.
An email arrived stating that Moon Unit had been found…in Paris! A shelter called L’association d’Aide et de Défense des Animaux en Détresse (ADAD) had taken in the cat after she was found at a railway station. They scanned for a microchip, which connected them to Gilligan and Purdy’s former address.
Even though the pair no longer lived there, the shelter was able to track them down. And that’s how Moon Unit’s former owners got the surprise of a lifetime.
Together, they ventured to Paris to see their long-lost friend, who was “the same but a bit more mellow,” as Ms. Gilligan described her in the Evening Standard. And there was one other big difference: the kitty had lost all her teeth! However, she was healthy.
“We don’t know what happened to her or where she has been but she wouldn’t have survived if she’d been a stray for eight years. We never thought we would see her again,” she said.
Because Ms. Gilligan had kept one of Moon Unit’s kittens, it was decided that the now-catless Mr. Purdy should be the mama cat’s caretaker.
As for the black-and-white kitty, she seems thrilled to be back. “I was anxious about having a cat again, because I haven’t looked after one for a couple of years. Moon Unit was quite ferocious in her youth,” Mr. Purdy told the Evening Standard. However, “she’s been a perfect sweetie, following me around all day purring.”
Because ADAD was so helpful in reuniting the kitty with her humans, Gilligan and Purdy are returning the favor through a crowdfunding page, which they set up to help the organization raise money. The page reads, “Help Moon Unit Say ‘Merci!’ and help ADAD rescue and rehome more cats like her.” The page has since reached its goal!
“ADAD have been amazing — tracking us down, with difficulty, from out-of-date microchip information, sorting out vet care and a pet passport for little Moon Unit,” Mr. Purdy said in the story.
There are two great lessons in this wonderful homecoming story: never give up hope after a pet goes missing, and always, always, always microchip!
(h/t: Evening Standard)