Page last updated at 13:25 GMT, Saturday, 29 August 2009 14:25 UK

Cats' tale which leads to Germany

two cats
Stu and Chris are friendly and comfortable around strangers

The phrase Auf Wiedersehen Pet has taken on a new meaning after two cats were found to have travelled from Germany to Northern Ireland.

The animals were found straying in Coleraine, County Londonderry, five weeks ago.

They were brought to a vet in Limavady and so far attempts to contact their owners have been unsuccessful.

But the cats, lent the names Stu and Chris by the clinic, were microchipped and tattooed in Germany.

The clinic has been looking after the cats since.

Maggie Bobby of the North-West Pet Rescue and Re-homing Centre has been helping in the bid to trace the cats' owners.

On Saturday, she said she believes she now knows the name and address of the owner, but has been unable to contact them.

She also said that they had received two calls from people offering to look after the cats.

"They are beautiful, the most lovely cats you could meet. If we can't find the owners, we would love to find a good home for them," she said.

Vet Michael Forgie, of Roe Valley Veterinary Clinic, said: "We realised when we scanned them they had a microchip, and a tattoo which is done in Germany and relevant to Germany.

"The central agency that deals with microchips, Petlog, were able to tell us they came from Germany.

Microchip

"The problem is, German vets can't release the name of the owners because of confidentiality.

"We have a German client and we got her to ring up to see if the German microchip people would contact police in Coleraine to see if the owners were living or taking up residence in Northern Ireland."

Mr Forgie said he did not know why the cats had been brought to Northern Ireland, but said the fact they had been micro-chipped indicated the owners "must have thought a good bit about them".

He said tests had revealed one of the cats had the feline form of HIV - feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).

The owners or potential foster carers for Stu and Chris are asked to contact Roe Valley Vets on 028777 62528.



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