Joy for cat owner as Chubbs found 260 MILES away after 10 YEAR search
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Chubbs, a 15-year-old white and grey tabby, went missing from his home in Weymouth in September 2012 leaving his owner Donna Gallacher distraught. However, Ms Gallacher was overjoyed when the cat was discovered wandering the streets in Ashton-in-Makerfield in Greater Manchester earlier this month, 260 miles from the family home.
Ms Gallacher said she never gave up hope of finding the tabby and had searched for him for years.
Her prayers were answered when Chubbs was taken to a vet after he was found and a microchip revealed his true owner.
Ms Gallacher called his return a “miracle”.
She told the Dorset Echo: “It was surreal when I got that phone call. I didn’t think I was ever going to see him again. I’ve been searching for Chubbs for 10 years.
“I was overwhelmed by it. I knew in my heart that he was still alive, I just knew he was out there somewhere.
“The fact that he’s come back to me after all this time is a miracle. It’s just magical news.”
The mother-of-two believes that Chubbs was stolen from the street in Weymouth back in 2012 and had been neglected by whoever the owner was in Ashton-in-Makerfield.
His disappearance prompted a mass neighbourhood search with the family putting up posters around the area.
Ms Gallacher said: “I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t stop crying.”
However, despite Chubbs being microchipped with his identity and owner’s details, the search went cold until last month when a woman spotted the bedraggled cat wandering around the market town in Greater Manchester.
Kelly, a professional hedgehog rescuer, said she regularly spotted Chubbs following schoolchildren when she dropped her daughter off at school in the mornings.
She told the BBC: “I thought at first it was someone’s pet following them instead of turning around.
“The day that I picked him up he was slowly walking across the main road in random directions, weaving between moving cars and narrowly being missed.
“I couldn’t leave him there to get run over so I picked him up from the centre of the road and took him into my car.
“He was so friendly and lovely, but extremely skinny, covered in fleas, soaking wet – it had been raining heavily the night before – and generally looking like a stray.”
Kelly took Chubbs, now 15 years old, into Rutland Vets who then contacted Ms Gallacher with the news that her beloved pet had been found.
Ms Gallacher said: “I didn’t know anything until I got this email from the vets and when I saw Chubbs’ name my heart skipped a beat.
“The vets said Chubbs looked as though he was on his last legs – he has no teeth and is covered in mats.
“He has problems walking too and we’re worried he’s got kidney problems.”
The 40-year-old said her local vets suggested the cat should have blood tests and X-rays to check why he was unable to walk properly.
She said the feline’s condition is improving by the day.
Ms Gallacher said: “It broke my heart thinking I might have to say goodbye to him but he’s been getting stronger every day.
“He’s happy now and I’m going to let him live out his older years. Until then he’s going to be a very spoilt old man.”
She noted that, most importantly, her treasured pet had not forgotten her even after 10 years apart.
She said: “He follows me around and won’t leave me alone, he hasn’t stopped purring.
“And he remembers his name – when I call him his head comes straight up.”
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