“I truly can’t believe he’s back with us after all these years.”
A cat has been reunited with his owners, after being missing for 14 years, RTE reports.
Jess ran away in May 2007. He is now 17 years old.
His owner, Leigh Bateman, is delighted to have him back.
“Jess went missing after we let him and our other cats out into our friend’s garden,” Leigh said. “It was a month after they arrived so we thought we’d given them plenty of time to get their bearings.”
Six months later, Leigh was offered a glimmer of hope when their neighbours spotted him near his former home. Unfortunately, they were unable to catch him.
“We thought he was lost forever,” Leigh said.
As it turned out, Jess settled not too far from Leigh’s home in Ryde, Isle of Wight. The cat took up residence at the Ryde House Group, an assisted living home. There, he was given a new name.
“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,” a spokesperson for the group said.
Tibby even appeared on the site map of the grounds.
Staff members at the Ryde House Group noticed that the cat was growing older, and thought it best to find him a permanent home.
After scanning the cat for a microchip, the vet was able to contact Jess’ original owners.
Leigh was delighted to be reunited with her pet after all these years.
“We were so surprised to get the call and we’re so pleased to have him home,” she said. “I was quite amazed that Jess seems so happy after living outdoors all this time. I wish he’d been scanned for a chip sooner but thank goodness we’d kept his details up to date so we could be found.”
She continued: “I truly can’t believe he’s back with us after all these years.”