Aug. 23 (UPI) -- A New York woman reunited with her cat 11 years after he went missing thanks to a patient animal rescue worker and a microchip scanner.
Maggie Welz, of Duchess County, said her cat Tiger never returned home after running out of her house when someone opened a door. Her family later moved down the street, but she asked the people who moved into her old house to keep an eye out for the brown tabby cat.
The neighbor never found Tiger, but Carol O'Connell, an SPCA staffer, did. She said Tiger had been coming around her house for the past three years, but she wasn't able to get close enough to pet him.
"Each year he came to my house, he deteriorated more and more each year, and that's when I realized either somebody just abandoned him or he just was missing or lost or he was just a feral cat," O'Connell said. "This spring he started to come around a little bit more in the mornings so I started to work harder to gain his trust."
O'Connell borrowed the SPCA's microchip scanner and was able to locate Welz. She said that even though they had been apart for 11 years, she definitely planned to bring Tiger back home.
"At that point we determined that he was coming home, we had made a commitment to him and we wanted him to come back home to us," Welz said.
"I can't tell them how grateful I am to them for their persistence and their dedication and for making sure that our cat was OK," she added. "I have no idea where he was for the years in between, I'm sure he could tell us many tales, but the thing is that he is now home with us and he will be with us for the remainder of his life."
The SPCA said Tiger was in remarkably good health for living on the streets for 11 years.