Page last updated at 16:26 GMT, Thursday, 14 August 2008 17:26 UK

Missing cat reunited after a year

Mousie (aka Herman the German): Pic Diana Lewis
Mousie disappeared while his owner was on a caravan holiday

A cat is going home to Germany almost a year after going missing in the UK.

Mousie disappeared while owner Ira Bauert was on a caravan holiday in north Devon last September.

The cat turned up six months later and was cared for by Diana Lewis from North Devon Animal Ambulance, who discovered it had been micro-chipped in Germany.

The owner was traced after an appeal to rehome Mousie was spotted by Cats Protection - to which Frau Bauert had reported her cat missing.

"It was just one of those amazing coincidences," Ms Lewis told BBC News.

She's a very happy and very lucky owner
Diana Lewis, North Devon Animal Ambulance

The long journey home began when the animal collection officer received a call from the Twitchen Holiday Park in March about a very thin stray cat with an injured leg.

"I collected it and took it to the vet for treatment and that's when we discovered it had a very unusual microchip," Ms Lewis said.

After contacting the pet microchip database in London, Ms Lewis was told the cat was registered in Germany.

"I nicknamed it Herman the German and set about trying to track the owner down," Ms Lewis said.

Rehoming plea

She contacted Trading Standards and the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

"I was told to contain the cat and keep it in isolation while Defra tried to trace it, but they were unable to.

"So after four months in isolation, I was told the cat could be rehomed."

Ms Lewis put an article in the North Devon Journal saying Herman the German desperately needed a new home and within hours was contacted by Cats Protection who had taken a report of a missing cat last September.

The league had the owner's phone number, so Ms Lewis contacted her by text and received a "very emotional" phone call from Frau Bauert, who said she would return to Britain immediately.

"She barely recognised the cat because she's so fat from lying about in a cage for so long, but she's a very happy and very lucky owner," Ms Lewis said.

"We are absolutely over the moon - this makes everything we do worthwhile."

Cat returns home after 10 years
29 Jun 07 |  Hampshire

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