A handsome tuxedo boy named Thomas went missing from the garden of his Woodburn, Dalkeith, Scotland, UK home in 2005, and his guardian had long since given up thinking he might still be alive when she got the surprise of her life when checking in to a local cat rescue’s Facebook page last week.
Elizabeth Shaw saw a photo of a cat who looked like her long-lost Thomas at the Lothian Cat Rescue Facebook page on Thursday, February 6, along with a note saying the cat’s microchip was registered to a Mrs. Shaw from her community but the contact information on the chip appeared to be out of date.
Ms. Shaw immediately posted to the Facebook thread, then contacted the shelter. The cat was in fact her long missing Thomas, and she shared her stunned reaction to the news with those following the saga online.
Thomas recognized his petmom after the eight year separation and was back home that same day. He remained upstairs and was a bit grumpy at first, but was more his old self after a couple of days.
Thomas was brought to the shelter by a woman who said she’d seen him hanging around as a stray not more than a mile from the Shaw residence. The woman said she fed the stray and tried to give him a home, but brought him to the shelter because her other cats did not get along with him.
Lothian Cat Rescue shared Thomas’ photo and wrote at Facebook on February 6, saying:
***CAN WE GET THIS BOY HOME?***
A big black and white boy came into the Shelter having been straying around Easthouses in Dalkeith for several months. He is chipped. We know the cat is 13 years old, and called Thomas. He is registered to a Mrs Shaw from the Woodburn area of Dalkeith. However it appears the contact information on his chip is out of date. Does anyone recognise this boy? Or does anyone know a Mrs Shaw who may have recently moved and may be missing a cat? Please send us a PM or call our Shelter if you can help us get this boy home.
Elizabeth Shaw wrote one of the first comments on the thread: This is a weird one I had a black and white cat that went missing about 8 yrs ago I live in woodburn and am mrs shaw ?????
Less than a half hour later, Lothian Cat Rescue wrote: Wow! That is all we can say We’ve spoken to the owner and an 8 year mystery has been solved, thanks to the power of something no bigger than a grain of rice and the power of social media More details as soon as they’re available.
That same day, Elizabeth Shaw updated everyone: OMG where do I start what a day Thomas is back home where he belongs after 8 years missing he is soooo big he is finding it all a bit weird I think and might take a while to settle in my other two cats are like OMG who is this big monster in our house but tough they will just have to get on love my now 3 cats to pieces and thank god and lothian cat rescue for his safe return will put up a pic when the big boy is more settled
He’s under the bed just now but when am talking to him and stroking him he’s purring like mad and speaking to me.
February 7 update from Elizabeth Shaw: Thomas is a bit more settled although seems to be staying up stairs for the time being he is sound asleep as I speak at the top of the stair he’s still a bit startled with some everyday noises but if you talk to him he responds by giving you a cheeky miaw back I hope that he becomes more settled every day and venture down stairs to join his furry family and us
February 8 update from Elizabeth Shaw: My big boy he’s so affectionate love him to bits.
Ms. Shaw is quoted by the Edinburgh Evening News online, saying : “It is incredible. He’s a little frightened but he is the old Thomas. I’ve got two other cats over the years and he’s just come back in with an air of ‘hey I was here first’.
“It came completely out of the blue, I was looking at LCR’s Facebook page when I saw a post of a cat found belonging to E Shaw, from Dalkeith. I had given him up as dead only to find he’s been less than a mile away all this time.
“He is 13 years old and is a lot bigger than when I last saw him, but he is the same cat.
“He recognised me instantly, he’s been a bit grumpy but I suppose you would be too if you’d been lost for eight years.”
You can read more details on the story at the Edinburgh Evening News.