In May 2007, Leigh Bateman let her cats into their new backyard for some fresh air. Staying at a friend’s house, Leigh and her felines had been there for about a month, so she felt they were ready to explore their Ryde, Isle of Wight, neighborhood in England.
All the cats made it back, except one.
Jess the black cat didn’t return from his jaunt. Though she didn’t see Jess again, Leigh explained, “About six weeks after he vanished a neighbour amazingly spotted him back where we used to live… but they hadn’t been able to catch him. We thought he was lost forever.”
Though Jess was lost from his family, he wound up not alone.
Not far from where the little house panther went missing, sat the grounds of the Ryde House Group assisted living home. There, Jess found companionship in the residents, who named him Tibby.
A spokesperson for Ryde House Group said, “Tibby, as we called Jess, found his way to our doorstep around 13 years ago, and made such a regular appearance that he was dubbed The Ryde Cottage Cat.”
“You can even see him on our site map, as he was so often spotted along that driveway.”
Jess padded the area for 13 years and age was beginning to show its signs, leading the cat lovers of the Ryde House Group to “the sad realisation that he needed to be brought to a place that could give him the care he needed.”
At the Isle of Wight Cats Protection Adoption Centre, Jess was scanned for a microchip and one was located, holding Leigh’s current information as she made sure to keep it updated. The Centre was happy to make this call and Leigh was even happier to receive it.
“We were so surprised to get the call and we’re so pleased to have him home,” shared Leigh, who still can’t believe her missing cat is back in her arms.
Jo Morrison, deputy manager for Cats Protection, said, “We might never have known Jess had owners who missed him if it weren’t for his chip. It was wonderful to be able to reunite Jess and Leigh and for him to go home to his family.”
“It’s always a joy when we scan a cat and the scanner says it’s not only found a chip but then the details are up to date.”
Microchips power miracle reunions and the Isle of Wight Cats Protection Adoption Centre advises, “If your cat’s not chipped, book it asap with your vet.”
The Ryde House Group was sad to see their feline friend off to retirement, “but are so glad that he’s been reunited with his original owners.”
“We’d like to say thank you to Jess for bringing smiles to the faces of our residents and staff for so many years.”
Feature Image: Isle of Wight Cats Protection Adoption Centre/Facebook