Jenna Hegarty adopted a kitten, Jasper, after graduating from university in Liverpool in 2002.
She was heartbroken when Jasper went missing over two years ago. She thought her kitten has died.
But last week in December 2019, Jenna, from Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire, got a call from a vet that they had found a cat and when they investigated his microchip, it was registered to her. The family was having some building work done and they couldn’t bring him home right away. On New year’s eve, Jenna returned to the home with her family and Jasper also came with them.
Jenna explains: ‘When we moved to the countryside, he took to the great outdoors with gusto. He also started roaming more and it wasn’t unusual for him to stay away for two-three days at a time.’’
‘‘About seven years ago, Jasper didn’t return from one of his adventures and I did the usual thing of putting up of posters locally, logging him as missing with the microchip company and contacting all the local vets. There was no sign of him though and I thought he had either been run over or (hopefully) had found another home somewhere after getting lost.’
‘‘Fast forward seven months, just when the weather was turning cold that year, and I hear a meow at the front door.
I assumed it was one of my other cats but when I opened the door there was Jasper – in fine fettle and glad to be home! ‘So when he went missing again two and half years ago, I thought he would just turn up again, at first after a few nights and then perhaps when the weather turned cold again, just like he’d done before.
‘’For the first few weeks I would always call his name whenever I walked our dogs around the block, but I never saw him. ‘After a while, especially when winter came around, I realized that this time Jasper wasn’t coming home and that perhaps, as a 15-year-old cat, he’d taken himself off to die.’’
‘’When I got a call last week from a local vet to say they’d just scanned jasper’s microchip I was amazed. I was convinced jasper was dead but no, he’d been living with a family literally round the corner from our house almost all the time I thought he’d been missing, and they’d taken him to the vets for some dental treatment.’’
‘‘He’d turned up in their garden in a bit of a sorry state, suggesting he had become disoriented or had been trapped somewhere for a while, and they were convinced he was their old ginger cat who’d gone missing eight years before.’’
‘‘They were delighted, and even more sure Jasper was their ‘Weeby’ when their other cat accepted him into the house with no fuss at all. It was a bit of a fluke he was scanned at all at the vets as the family were certain he was Weeby, so they were really shocked to find out he belonged to another family.’’
‘‘After the initial shock and delight, I was amazed that I never saw jasper given how close he’d been. I spoke to jasper’s other family on the phone shortly after the vet called and told them his story. As soon as they discovered his real name they called him and apparently his eyes lit up.’’
‘‘I went to see jasper that evening and he was super purry but if I’m honest I’m not sure he really remembered me. Or perhaps he was just being a tired old man who’d not long had his dinner!’’
‘‘We only moved back home on New Year’s Eve, but Jasper moved back with us and he’s settling in really well. He’s purring all the time, finding all the comfortable spots in the house and is taking the children in his stride. My three-year-old thinks Jasper’s great, even if he doesn’t really remember him from before. The baby seems to love him too.’’
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