Phoebe - cat

A seriously ill 22-year-old cat who had been missing from home for TWO decades has been reunited with her shocked owners after she was handed into the RSPCA!

Phoebe was found alone in a field in Bridgemere, near Nantwich last week and she took the elderly pet to the RSPCA’s nearby Stapeley Grange Animal Centre.

Staff at the centre found Phoebe was microchipped and were surprised to find she had actually been adopted from Stapeley when she was a kitten.

And incredibly, they were also able to trace her thrilled owner Christina Ball – and were amazed to find Phoebe was 22-years-old and had gone missing from her home 20 years ago.

Phoebe was cold and wet when she was found and so she was warmed up using heat pads before she was sent for veterinary treatment.

She was having fits and it was discovered she was in very poor health with a brain tumour, and was put to sleep.

But Phoebe did get to spend two days at her home where she was given plenty of love by owner Christine, 59, who lives near Nantwich.

Christine said: “We were absolutely gobsmacked when we got a phone call from the RSPCA to say they had found Phoebe.

“She went missing when she was aged just two – and we think someone probably took her and she somehow got lost – because she always stayed close to home and didn’t venture far.

Phoebe as a kitten - cat
Phoebe as a kitten

“We went looking for her with neighbours and posted leaflets all those years ago but to no avail.

“The vet said she wouldn’t have survived 20 years as a stray and we think someone probably took her in and cared for her as their pet.

“We are not sure why she would have ended up a stray so late on in life but perhaps her owner was taken into care – who knows in these strange times?

“We would love to know who did care for her just to find out about her life after she left us.”

Christine said she is grateful the RSPCA were able to trace her in time to say goodbye to her beloved pet, thanks
to her microchip.

She added: “It was sad we found her and so soon afterwards we had to let her go – but it was nice to have some time with her especially as she really needed comforting during her hour of need.

“It did bring some closure to us and we are grateful she lived to such a ripe age – someone else must have really looked after her well. We are so grateful to the woman who found her and took her to the RSPCA.”

Phoebe in RSPCA care (1)

Lee Stewart, manager at Stapeley Grange Animal Centre, said: “This highlights why microchipping your pet is so important and it is vitally important to tell the chip company yourself if any contact details change.

“We see many cases where we would love to reunite microchipped cats with their owner but can’t because the details have not been updated.

“We have reunited cats which have been missing for a few years but I have never come across a cat missing from home for 20 years – it is quite amazing – as well as the fact she lived to the age of 22.

“The circumstances were sad but at least she was with those who really cared for her at the end of her life.”

It is a legal requirement to have dogs microchipped but it is not against the law to leave other pets, such as cats and rabbits, without a chip.

However, the RSPCA would encourage all owners to get their pets microchipped.

Microchipping is a very quick and easy procedure, and involves a tiny microchip being quickly and simply inserted under the animal’s skin and this then gives the pet their own unique code.

Thousands of pets are lost every year and many are never reunited with their owners but microchipping can help to change that.

For more information about microchipping, visit

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