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Lost cat returns home 14 years after hurricane

By Ben Hooper

March 20 (UPI) -- A Florida man whose cat disappeared in the aftermath of a 2004 hurricane has been reunited with his beloved pet 14 years later.

The Humane Society of the Treasure Coast said in a Facebook post that the cat was found as a stray late last week and officials discovered he had a microchip with his owner's information.

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Perry Martin said he was shocked to receive a call from his veterinarian's office.

"They said, 'Perry what would you do if we told you that T2 was alive?' And I said, 'I'd probably tell you you're crazy because he died a long long time ago!'" Martin told WPTV.

Martin adopted T2, a nickname for Thomas Jr., in 2002 and the feline disappeared in the aftermath of Hurricane Jeanne in 2004.

"People didn't have air conditioning, so as time went on people left their windows and screens open," he said. "I was staying in Stuart at the time and he slipped out."

"I filed a report with the Humane Society, in case animal control picked him up," Martin said. "He had a microchip and I thought someone would just call me if they found him."

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Humane Society officials said T2 was in rough condition when they found him.

"He was just found on the street, he was brought in," volunteer program coordinator Sarah Fisher said. "He had fleas, he was skinny."

Martin said he and T2 reconnected quickly.

"As soon as I looked at that face, I knew exactly who he was. A little bit older, kind of like me!" he said. "I'm convinced he had to have had somebody bring him into their house. He must have been part of somebody's family and maybe he got out. I just can't see him living wild in the area I figured he would be."

Martin said T2 is regaining his strength.

"Since he got home, he's eating, he's drinking, he's moving around," Martin said.

He said the feline is getting along well with his golden retriever, Sassy.

"He had an opportunity to come home, spend time with his family and be on a good note when he passes," Martin said. "Until that day, he'll be spoiled like he was before he left."

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