Le chat disparu, Quincey, revient avec sa famille après 12 ansseptembre 16, 2019
A cat which disappeared 12 years ago has been found – but not before his owner died without knowing his fate.
Quincey, now aged 15, was handed in as a stray after he was found wandering the streets of Braintree, Essex.
A microchip scan revealed the wayward tom, who was reported missing in December 2006, belonged to a family eight miles away in Witham.
Owner Margaret Smith died in 2008, but her daughter Paula reclaimed Quincey after she spotted an appeal.
The « friendly and lovable » puss, who has epilepsy, has been reunited with Ms Smith, who said her mother had been « heart-broken » when he went missing.
« We searched high and low for him, without any luck, » she said.
« We thought he must have had a fatal fit, or had been hit by a car. »
‘Mum would’ve been pleased’
Ms Smith saw a Facebook appeal urging relatives of Margaret Smith to contact Cat Protection’s Halstead branch.
A spokeswoman for the charity said: « No one really knows what he’s been up to. »
Miss Smith said Quincey would now « live out his older years in comfort ».
« Mum would have been really pleased he’s finally made his way back to us, as she really adored him. »
Jacqui Cuff, from the charity, said: « Most of these happy endings are only possible if a cat has been microchipped ».
She called for microchipping to be made compulsory for cats, as is the case for dogs.
« It is an essential part of responsible pet ownership, » she said.