Page last updated at 16:18 GMT, Wednesday, 13 May 2009 17:18 UK

'Grumpy' cat found far from home

Henry the cat
Henry shows the paws that are made for walking... all the way to Coventry

A grumpy cat called Henry is recovering after nine months on the street in what his owner suspects was a cat-knapping.

For the 14-year-old long-haired moggie disappeared in Swansea and was found more than 150 miles away in Coventry.

Owner Bridget Wells thought her white-haired pet had had his chips after he did not return home last September.

But it was because Henry had been micro-chipped that the pair were reunited, after he was handed into a PDSA clinic in the east midlands.

Ms Wells said Henry seemed "a bit shell-shocked" after spending weeks, if not months, on the streets but was slowly returning to his "large, elegant, grumpy" self.

The 37-year-old university researcher took Henry home from a cattery four years ago where he was put for re-homing after his previous owner died.

It feels like the closest I've ever got to a miracle
Henry's owner, Bridget Wells

She said he had become a familiar sight in Mount Pleasant and often stopped to "chat" to people.

"The first night he went, I realised he wasn't there. Straight away I was looking for him. He was very territorial. He does not miss a feed.

"I put up posters, I walked the streets. Every week I phoned the PDSA, I phoned all the vets. They got to know my voice.

"I came to the conclusion that he must have been cat-knapped. He's had collars but he gets rid of them very quickly. Maybe someone thought he was stray."

'Scar'

Then, last week, a young woman in Coventry took him to him to a PSDA clinic, saying she had been feeding him on the street for a month.

Staff checked for a micro-chip and were able to track down Ms Wells.

Ms Wells said she and her lodger were "stunned" when the call came, and drove to Coventry that night and found the once elegant Henry was dreadlocked, matted and grey.

"He had a bit scar on his cheek and was very dazed," she said. Back home, Henry is still finding his feet but bright white colour is returning.

"He seems to be coming back to himself. He's always been a bit grumpy so it's great that he's got his old grump back.

"Thank goodness he was chipped and they could reunite him with me and not have to make a decision about whether to re-home him, given the condition he was in and his age.

'Rare'

"It feels like the closest I've ever got to a miracle."

A spokeswoman for the PDSA said staff at the Coventry PDSA PetAid hospital were extremely surprised to learn the owner was from Swansea.

She said: "Cases like this where a cat is found so many miles away from home are extremely rare and unusual.

"This case highlights the importance of micro-chipping your pet as many pets go missing every year and sadly some are never found."

Next month is the Kennel Club's national micro-chipping month, which the PDSA is supporting.



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