A cat that was missing for more than a year has been found – just a 15-minute drive away from where his owner lives.
Morty the cat appeared in a Porthcawl garden on Thursday, April 8 after being missing since the start of the first lockdown in March last year. He was found just over six miles from home.
The cat’s owner, Paula Evans, 39, said she was “devastated” when he first went missing.
Although Morty was neutered, he hadn’t yet been microchipped, and had been booked in to do so for the day after he went missing.
“I could have kicked myself,” Ms Evans said.
“My cats only went in the back garden. They never, ever wandered that far.”
When Morty didn’t respond after Ms Evans called him for food, she put a post on Pets Lost and Found, a Facebook group of which she is an admin.
“I know the protocol of leaving litter boxes out, making people aware, so I was just constantly sharing posts, walking the streets, looking in gardens – everything a pet owner would do.”
Ms Evans was beginning to give up hope when, on Wednesday, another admin member posted a picture of a cat that Ms Evans recognised as being Morty.
On Thursday morning, Ms Evans went to Porthcawl to put up more posters of the missing cat to make residents aware that Morty had been seen in the area.
However, as she and her partner were about to leave, Ms Evans spotted something that her partner thought was a shadow – but it turned out to be Morty himself.
“I saw his face and I couldn’t get out of the car quick enough,” she said.
“It was my cat – he was just sitting in someone’s garden!
“It took him a few minutes to click who I was – he gave me a little bit of a cry and came straight to me.”
Ms Evans’s son, Kaiden, 13, was with her at the time Morty was found.
“He was his cat. I thought my son was going to pass out, he was so overwhelmed with it. He just froze, it was so lovely.”
Ms Evans said she was overwhelmed and was “shaking from head to toe” when they put Morty in his cat carrier.
She says she and her family hand-raised Morty, now nearly two-years-old, from when he was just 48 hours old.
“The bond that we had with Morty was more than you’d have with a normal kitten from eight-weeks-old.
“He was more than a cat to us. He was a family member.”
Ms Evans said she had a huge amount of support from the team behind Pets Lost and Found, and that she “wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.”
“I would also like to give a huge thank you to my friend Jayne Richards. She was my biggest support system when Morty went missing and was there yesterday when we found him in Porthcawl,” she added.
After being missing for over a year, Morty has some irritation resulting from fur loss, but has been wormed and had flea treatment He is booked in for an appointment with a vet and will be microchipped.
“He’s definitely on house arrest! It hasn’t sunk in entirely that he’s home.
“This morning, I went into my son’s room because he spent the night curled up with him and I was like, ‘Yep, he’s still here.’”
Ms Evans said that Morty recognised their older cat, Sky, when he got home and went straight to give her a kiss on the nose.
She says she wants to reassure other cat owners to not give up hope when their pets go missing.
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“There are so many people who put posts on our site of missing cats and dogs.
“The dogs do tend to get found quicker than the cats, but because I’ve actually been in that position, and now I’ve found Morty, it’s like, never give up hope.
“No matter if it’s a year, two years – if you haven’t been contacted by a vet or seen anything on social media, then your cat is still out there pretty much.”