Note: The Fox17 News video report on Abby’s story begins on autostart. You can pause it until you are ready to watch.
There were tears of joy when Abby was reunited with her loving family after 14 months. A cat caretaker, a TNR and rescue organization and her microchip all helped to bring the long-missing cat back home.
Abby went missing from her Grand Rapids, Michigan home in November 2012, and her guardian Melissa Neitzka eventually gave up hope of ever seeing her again. Melissa says there were 3 foster children in her home when Abby disappeared, and she thinks in retrospect that their presence was too much for the cat to bear.
More than a year after Abby’s disappearance, and 8 miles away, a beautiful lynx-point Siamese cat showed up at the porch feeding station of community cat caretaker named Trish. Trish called the newcomer Kitty-Witty and took steps to get her trapped and taken to local TNR and rescue organization Carol’s Ferals, run by Carol Manos.
Kitty-Witty was wearing a collar, didn’t look like she’d been living on her own for too long, and turned out to be friendly. When Trish noticed that the cat’s collar looked tight and might need to be loosened, she spoke softly to her and Kitty-Witty came over and allowed herself to be scooped up into Trish’s arms, so there was no need to trap her.
Trish took Kitty-Witty to Carol’s Ferals, where the intake team were elated to get that special “ding” that sounds when the microchip scanner gets a hit. Carol’s Ferals writes: “The device made that really wonderful ding. That ding that Sheri in her 6 years of volunteering at Carol’s Ferals had never heard before. Viola! A number read out on the screen of the microchip reader. Can you imagine the excitement for Trish, Sheri and the team?”
Carol Manos showed up an hour later and the team began researching the chip in hopes of finding the cat’s family. They kept hitting dead ends until finally calling 24-Petwatch, where they were given the registered guardian’s contact information.
Carol writes: “This is where the story gets really good. Get your tissues handy. I asked if this was Melissa on the line. ”Yes” was the reply. I asked her if she had been missing her cat because we had a cat at Carol’s Ferals that sported a microchip registered to her. I think there was a moment’s pause….probably filled with disbelief…but then the response “Yes, she’s been missing for over a year”.
“Sheri and the intake team of Mariann and Annie were in a combination of tears, high fives and jumping up and down as they overheard the conversation I was having with Melissa on the phone. It was the best energy the office that night at 9pm, I can surely attest to that.
“Melissa was on her way as we all continued to jump up and down and cry and tell Kitty-Witty that Mama was on the way.”
There were more tears all around as Melissa and her husband Derek arrived and Melissa hugged her long lost cat, who the rescuers learned was named Abby. When Melissa entered the building for the reunion she called for Abby and the cat answered back with a meow.
Trish, the community cat caretaker, and the crew at Carol’s Ferals all think someone must have been taking care of Abby for much of the time she was missing. She was not wearing the collar she was found in when she disappeared from home in November, 2012, and she did not look like she’d been toughing it out on her own for long when she showed up at Trish’s house. No one knows how she traveled the 8 miles from home.
You can watch Abby’s story in the Fox 17 news video below.
Carol’s Ferals tells the full story in heartwarming detail at their website in this blog post: The Payoff of Microchipping – Abby’s Story. We have shared brief excerpts from the story here.
Carol Manos told Fox 17 that of the 7,200 hundred cats taken in by Carol’s Ferals in the past 8 years, only a very few have had identifying microchips.