By Josh Saunders
A long-lost cat who went missing 13 years ago has finally been reunited with her owner and now couldn’t be happier.
Described as a ‘miracle’ and a ‘million to one’ occurence, rescuer Alison Ferguson, 42, from Evans, Georgia, is delighted that Jill the tabby now has her forever home.
She was selected by Hayley Zielinski, 50, originally from Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, from a high kill shelter for re-homing through the Cat Networking Agents earlier this month.
After finding out the cat had been microchipped, Alison was amazed to discover that cat had moved 75 miles away from her registered home in South Carolina.
But both the phone number and email were no longer in service, leading her to take to Facebook to find the cat who was registered as ‘Abby’, and message every ‘Kelly Amandrell’ she could find in Connecticut.
Miraculously she received a response, and now Kelly, who has the last name LaVette, 35, has been reunited with the cat who went missing 13 years ago and now the previously sad cat seems happier than ever.
Kelly, of Columbia, South Carolina, said: “I only had her for about a month before she got away.
“I was living in an apartment with a foyer so must have got outside when one of the neighbours opened the door.
“I put up flyers and asked around, but no one replied, it was in the downtown area so was a lot harder to go looking for her with all the buildings and places she could have been.
“It was so long ago I forgot I had adopted her and was definitely surprised that no one had ever scanned the microchip in that long a time.
“I knew it was something unusual when I was contacted using my maiden name, which I hadn’t heard for a very long time.
“It just seems like a miracle, you know, I had to go through my memory bank to remember what happened and after that I knew I had to adopt her, it seemed like fate.
“In between her going missing I have had two more children, finished college, have been teaching for the last ten years, moved away five-years-ago and only recently came back.
“I didn’t take Jill out until we got home, she seemed shy at first but a couple of days after that she definitely warmed up to me.
“She follows me everywhere, sleeps next to me, cuddles with me and wherever I am she is right there.”
Alison co-founded The Cat Networking Agents with Hayley, believes the tabby is luckier than most due to the obstacles obstructing her from being reunited.
Cats without a microchip have a 2-5% chance of being reunited with their owners, according to the Humane Society of the United States, compared to 39% for those with one.
Despite the high percentage on paper, the odds were significantly lower for Jill, who was listed as Abby, due to none of the contact details being correct and even the owner was recorded with her long unused maiden name.
Alison said: “She was at a high kill shelter, Hayley picked five cats of all different colours and brought them to me.
“She happened to be the one tabby cat she picked that day, so for her then to get reunited with her old owner you have to think what the chances are.
“The microchipped revealed she had gone missed from Columbia, South Caroline, which was 75 miles away from where she was brought in.
“We believe she must have moved with her other owners as she would not have been able to survive for all that time.
“It ended up being a miracle, it’s certainly a million to one chance of that happening.
“I think stories like this give other people who have lost their cats a bit of hope.”
Alison was determined to find the cat’s owner after seeing how sad she looked while temporarily fostering her.
Also, noticing that her original name upon being microchipped was Abby held extra meaning for the rescuer, who had lost her first dog, of the same name in July last year.
Alison said: “She was being really sweet but then suddenly didn’t seem herself and was really sad, like she was getting sick or was depressed.
“Lying in bed one night, I remembered how sad she looked and that she was microchipped and spayed.
“I knew I had to give it a shot at trying to find her owner, so I texted the listed phone number and messaged the email address, I tried to call the next day but it was disconnected.
“All I had left was the lady’s name, so I typed out all of the ‘Kelly Amandrell’ from South Carolina on Facebook and messaged everyone on the list.
“The next day Jelly replied and we made plans to meet two days later
“I wasn’t 100% sure how the cat would react, because with me she was kind of sad, but Kelly tells me that she is the most affectionate cat now and even sleeps on her pillow.
“I wasn’t expecting her to come-around that quickly based on what I had seen, but maybe she just knows she is with her forever person now and is comfortable.”
The Cat Networking Agents are a branch of the larger non-profit, Dog Networking Agents, who help abandoned and shelter pets find new homes.
It is run by Alison, Hayley and other volunteers.
At their peak have been able to help 75 cats find a forever home in a month and up to 500 in a year.
Alison said: “I feel like it was meant to be, that we were supposed to find her, it’s a million to one incident, it’s a miracle microchip.
Hayley added: “We are a dog and cat rescue, but we mainly rescue shelter dogs.
“We take the ones with dire medical cases who are in desperate need of rescue.”
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