28 Sep 2017

Wellington family reunited with missing cat after 9 years

From Checkpoint, 5:53 pm on 28 September 2017

A Wellington family whose cat was run over and killed a couple of months ago, was shocked to get a call over the weekend from a vet who had found their cat - one they lost nine years ago.

Andrew Mabey said he told the vet their cat was killed a few months ago.

"I said, 'we don't really want a zombie cat, what cat do you have?' and it was an absolute shock when they said 'Getti'.

"And we were like, 'Getti? We lost Getti just over nine years ago."

But it was Getti, whose microchip had helped the vet to find her family. Getti was found only 2km from the house where the Mabey family used to live.

After their last cat was hit by a car, the family had decided not to get another one. 

"It was a bit traumatic, but technically this isn't a new cat.

"The kids are 9 and 7, they get it. They love the idea of having another animal and they're really animal kids. So it has worked out."

Mr Mabey was still getting used to the shock of being reunited with his cat nine years later, calling it a "pure and utter surprise".

After all this time living as a feral cat, Getti was not in the best shape.

"She's a bit skinny. She was definitely flea-ridden and worm-ridden, so we've dealt with that.

"She's got very little teeth, just from living rough, and she's got a bit of discolouration in her fur, a lot of sun bleaching, so we're doing lots of brushing and that's helping. 

"Lots of cuddles are helping as well. The vet said don't scare her in any way, so we're doing what we can."

Getti ran away when she was two, and now that she has been reunited with the family, Mr Mabey said he was not sure if she remembered them.

"We'll say 'Getti!' and she'll turn her head and pop down off the couch. She's slept on my lap for a couple of hours two times ... you hope that she's not distraught or that she feels like she's in a strange place."

He said the family were doing what they could to make her feel comfortable.

"We're going to make the most of it. We'll spoil her, give her some treats and make sure she's okay. It's amazing what you can remember after nine years."