Bittersweet reunion as cat returns home for final days after 7 years

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Brave and Mark Reinecke

It was a bittersweet reunion when Mark Reinecke and Melissa Lande reclaimed their cat Brave last week, after he’d been missing for 7 years. When Brave came into the Humane Society of Central Oregon’s Bend, OR shelter, his microchip quickly identified him and allowed shelter staff to contact his family. However, the the shelter’s vet found a mass that turned out to be cancerous, and Brave is not expected to have much time left. He will spend that time back with his family, getting love and palliative care for his remaining days.

 Humane Society of Central Oregon shared the story with their Facebook fans on March 20, writing:

Good News, Sad News: A thin cat was brought in by a Good Samaritan today. The GOOD NEWS is, the cat had microchip identification with a current phone number. The Reinecke’s were shocked at the news their cat was at HSCO – the cat, Brave, had been MISSING for 7 YEARS! We informed them about the condition of the cat, and they scheduled a vet appointment for immediately after reclaiming Brave. In the meantime, HSCO’s veterinarian, Dr. Liz Gray, did an ultrasound on the mass discovered during our health exam. The SAD NEWS, Brave has cancer, and a very limited time to live. Brave made it full-circle back to his family, and his family will provide the palliative care their vet prescribes to keep him comfortable in his final days.


Mark Reinecke came to the shelter to collect Brave immediately after getting the call saying he’d been found, and being told about the tumor. He brought Brave to the family’s vet to begin his palliative care.

Mark told the shelter that Brave is fitting in well with the family and their two year-old dog, who is keeping an eye on him.

“He’s really happy to be held and when [the kids, who were in elementary school when Brave went missing] make old, familiar sounds, he comes to them,” Mark said.

There was a momentary panic when Brave couldn’t be found over the weekend, but he turned up curled up in an open cabinet.

The family have moved twice since Brave disappeared but Mark maintained the same phone number, making it easy for him to be traced when Brave was scanned by shelter staff. The shelter says Brave was found across town from his former home.





At home, with the family dog



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