Cat found 530 miles away

Published: March 5, 2006 | 3685th good news item since 2003

It could be a plot from a Lassie movie – only this one involves a tabby cat and a microchip.

“DC” vanished last month from his home at seaside Bondi, in Sydney, only to turn up 850km away on Melbourne’s St Kilda beach a fortnight later.

His owner Niki Chapman had given him up for dead, thinking he’d been run over by a car, and was astounded to get a call from the Victorian capital.

“It’s absolutely amazing, I can’t believe he was found in Melbourne,” a relieved Ms Chapman said.

“I was completely surprised. I actually thought it was a joke.”

At eight months old, DC is barely more than a kitten.

Ms Chapman said she’d given up hope of finding him alive after he vanished on February 19. A cat matching his description had been run over in Bondi.

“I was convinced he was gone and I literally came home and got rid of the cat food and the cat toys,” she said.

“And then I got a call from someone saying they’d found him, and gave me a number for a veterinary clinic for me to call.

“The number wasn’t working so I rang the people back and they asked if I was remembering to put the `03′ in front of the number.

“I nearly fell off my chair laughing.”

DC, who was found by a passer-by at St Kilda, was fitted with a microchip which enabled his owner to be traced.

Ms Chapman praised the technology which led to her happy reunion with a hungry and thirsty DC a fortnight after he disappeared.

“There’s no way they would ever have traced him back to me if he wasn’t microchipped,” she said.

But she’s still trying to figure out why DC chose the highway over her way.

“Maybe he escaped from here,” she said.

“He’s a house cat so he doesn’t have a collar, so perhaps someone thought he wasn’t owned and took him along for a ride.”

On hearing Ms Chapman’s story, NSW Local Government Minister Kerry Hickey urged people to microchip their pets.

“Microchipping and registration offers lifetime protection for your pet,” he said.

Published in Animals, Found
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