Monday, October 6, 2014

Microchips Really Do Work! - Fluffy's (aka Cooney's) Unusual Story

 So often, when stray cats are brought into our office by concerned cat lovers, even if they are spayed, front declawed, Siamese, Persian, Maine Coon....none of them have microchips. Or, if they do have a microchip, it isn't registered anywhere and leads to a dead end. On Monday, we had a happy microchip story, though maybe not the story you might normally hear.

This little stray kitty has been being fed outdoors for 3 years by some of our clients. Over time, they started calling her "Fluffy". They noticed that she had dental disease and decided to bring her in to their house and care for her teeth. They brought her to us for a checkup, wondering if she had a former owner. When we examined her, we found that she had a spay scar and a microchip, so we called the microchip company. Sure enough, she was registered! We contacted her former owner and discovered her full story...

Her owner was a woman from Germany that lived in Royal Oak. This little cat was a stray, and was living under her deck. Attempts to bring her into the house were unsuccessful. Four years ago, the woman from Germany was recalled to her home country for one reason or another, and was not able to take this little girl with her. Instead, she made provisions for her to be re-homed with a good friend. Again, attempts to bring her inside were unsuccessful. She was miserable, not wanting to eat, and hiding in the basement, so Cooney was taken to the vet and microchipped in case she tried to return to Royal Oak. Her new owner set up provisions for her in her back yard, just as she had been used to, but shortly after returning her to the outdoors, she disappeared. That was in 2010. Her first owner was devastated. Her newer owner was sad that she had failed both Cooney and her friend who had entrusted her with Cooney's care. She put up signs in her own neighborhood and in Cooney's former neighborhood in Royal Oak, as well as approaching neighborhood friends and neighbors.

Monday, "Fluffy" was brought into our office. She was very nervous, but very cooperative and sweet, and she acted like a cat that was used to humans. We examined her, checked for a spay scar, drew blood for a Feline Leukemia/FIV/Heartworm combination test, trimmed her nails, checked her for fleas, and scanned her for a microchip. Once we had the microchip number, we called the company, who directed us to the registered owner and the veterinary hospital where the chip was implanted. We were able to contact her former owner who was beside herself with excitement - she had been certain that Cooney was dead. She wanted to know if Cooney was happy. We suggested that she speak with the people who had been feeding her and decide between them what the best plan was for Cooney.

In the end, since it was her home that Cooney ran away from, Cooney's former owner decided to relinquish ownership to the people who have been caring for her for the last 3 years, hoping that she had finally found a home where she would be content. We called her former veterinarian and they sent us her previous records. We discovered that she was 11 years old (she looks more like a 5-7 year old cat, which is pretty good for a cat that has lived outdoors!), and she is now scheduled to have her painful mouth treated.

What a happy ending! Cooney - now Fluffy - was never abandoned, and was always loved and missed. She has a brand new home, and her former owner can rest assured that her beloved cat is safe and sound a whole ocean away.

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