Winston is back from his long vacation.
In 2002, the black cat disappeared from his home in Cornwall, England. Now, 15 years later, Winston is back in the lap of his owner Janet Barnes.
Barnes believes that Winston went missing shortly after she moved in with her now-husband Pete Barnes; the outdoor cat went for a walk and just never came back.
“To be honest it’s just unbelievable. It really is so lovely to have him back,” Pete told The Telegraph. “We have no idea where he’s been all these years, I thought he must have been living with someone else, but when he was found staggering through the road he was extremely frail.”
While his long journey remains a mystery, Winston’s travels came to an end when he was found in bad shape 35 miles from his home. A Good Samaritan brought the feline to a nearby animal hospital, where he was scanned for a microchip.
The 17-year-old cat’s chip led the vet back to Janet and her family.
“I really believe that the microchip saved his life,” Pete said. “Without it, in his condition and at his age I think Winston would have faced euthanasia.”
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The entire Barnes family, including the couple’s now-grown children, is astonished and grateful that Winston is back in their lives.
The fortunate feline is now adjusting to a quiet life indoors with Janet, Pete and their rescue dog.
Steve Cox, practice manager at the Castle Veterinary Group and the one who reunited Winston with his family, hopes the story inspires pet owners to make sure all of their animals have up-to-date microchips.
“We are urging all owners to get their animals microchipped, it’s inexpensive and painless, and can help you be reunited with your lost pet,” the veterinarian said.