Alfredton resident Cindy McDonald could have been forgiven for thinking she would never again see her beloved cat Moxy after the pet went missing back in 2014.
Then just a kitten, the black and white cat went missing when Ms McDonald walked her two children to kindergarten.
Earlier this week Ms McDonald received a phone call from the Ballarat Animal Shelter, alerting her the now adult cat had been handed in after more than three years.
The animal had been picked up along Creswick Road, less than seven kilometres from where he fled years ago. Up to date information on Moxy’s microchip was enough to alert shelter operators of the cat’s nearby home.
Ms McDonald said the whole family had given up hope of seeing their pet again. “They rang me and asked if I had a black and white cat and my kids came running up the hallway,” Ms McDonald said of the phone call. “I thought he was gone forever and when we found him we all screamed.”
Since being picked up on Thursday Moxy has had to adjust to domestic life with the addition of two more cats, who were both brought into the house following his disappearance. He has also had to find his groove in a new environment after Ms McDonald recently moved into a new house.
Ms McDonald said she hoped the unlikely find would encourage people to take more notice of animals they saw out on the street.
“People should look out for cats and if they’ve got a collar and a tag please check it, because it could be someone’s pet.”
The remarkable find also serves as a timely reminder to ensure pets are microchipped and their information is up to date.
In 2016 PETStock revealed it was able to reunite just seven per cent of lost cats with their owners as more than 80 per cent of the cats arriving at shelters did not have a microchip.
The up to date information can also play a critical role in ensuring the animals receive appropriate treatment, as vets are unable to perform elective surgery on non-microchipped lost pets.