Back in 2001, Christine Ball let Phoebe, her 2-year-old tortoise shell cat, out as usual not realising that her feline friend wouldn’t return.
When Phoebe didn’t come home, Christine asked around, put up posters but ultimately had no choice but to wait and hope that Phoebe’s microchip would bring her home again.
A 20-year wait
Christine waited and waited…Eventually, she gave up hope. Either Phoebe had met an untimely end or she’d found a new family. Christine hoped it was the latter.
Fast forward to 2021 (some 20 years on from Phoebe’s disappearance) and Christine had an unexpected phone call.
A surprise reunion
The unfamiliar voice on the other end of the phone explained that they were from the RSPCA and a stray cat had been found and the microchip showed that Christine was the owner.
Christine told BBC News that she was:
To learn that her cat had been found.
Unfortunately, she was also informed that poor Phoebe (now a ripe old 22 years of age) had a brain tumour and didn’t have long left. Christine brought her home and was with Phoebe for the final few days of her life.
A bittersweet end to an extraordinary tale. We wish Christine all the best and hope that Phoebe is chasing mice in the sky!
See also: Cat goes missing for 2 years, his family breaks down when they visit the shelter