An orange tabby cat named Leo went missing one day from his family home in Brampton, Ontario.
Sherri Oakley and her family were hosting a party in 2013 when one of the guests mistakenly let the cat out. Normally staying in the yard under close watch, the now unsupervised cat likely became spooked during the large gathering and ran. Searches for Leo sadly ended unsuccessfully and the family was devastated.
Having adopted Leo from a shelter when her son was only 10 years old, Leo was more than a pet, he was family.
Leo was micro-chipped, but unless someone found the ginger wanderer and brought him to a shelter or local animal control, his whereabouts would remain unknown. Multiple trips to the surrounding shelters yielded no results.
The family says Leo was used to going outside and would always come back, they think something must have scared him and that he simply couldn’t find his way home #thecatcameback #leothelion @globalnewsto pic.twitter.com/iAnSnX50fH
— Katherine Ward (@KWardTV) July 9, 2018
Five long, grieving years went by and the family reluctantly accepted that he was lost to them forever. The reminders of his presence were donated as his toys, bedding and food only served to re-break their hearts.
Then there was a knock at the door.
Brampton Animal Services officer Meredith Edney had a shocking question for her.
“Are you missing a cat?”, she asked. Next to her was a small crate with a slightly scraggly orange tabby.
Leo had been found!
A call had come into Animal Services on June 23rd regarding a stray cat walking down the street. He was discovered just a few streets over from the family home! The feline had a minor eye infection and a few new scars but other that that, seemed healthy.
He had a generic collar around his neck; not something he had originally been lost wearing. Apparently taken in by another family in the area, he may have never been brought to the vet for any checkups. Common practices are that found animals are scanned for microchips. But if he was examined by a veterinarian, the family caring for him never mentioned he was found on the streets.
Thankfully Officer Edney had scanned for the chip, happily finding a match to the Oakley household. Nervous but hopeful that Leo had a family that loved and wanted him, she was relieved to find he would be welcomed back to the home with open arms. She had no idea that he had been missing for 5 years and her visit was the answer to their prayers.
Leo was the family’s first cat – when he went missing they were devastated, family says the reunion is like a Disney movie more @globalnewsto pic.twitter.com/CZcVyc9Xid
— Katherine Ward (@KWardTV) July 9, 2018
When Leo was brought into the house, he immediately sauntered around like not a day had gone by.
Fortunately Officer Edney had some cat food in her truck to give to Leo until the family could restock the kitty necessities.
Leo is now back home where he belongs with a grateful family who will cherish everyday they have together.
Happily his story has spread throughout newscasts and reporters are all to willing to share this furry-tail ending, reminding pet owners just what micro-chipping can do for our missing four-legged family members.
Thank Heavens, families who will take in and love cats and the policewoman who was wise enough to check for a micro-chip. Am so very glad Leo is at long last, HOME. Wish I could afford to have my cat and my adoptive daughter’s 11 cats micro-chipped. It might save on us getting a bad case of nerves when one disappears for a little while. Between coyotes, raccoons, bears, eagles, hawks and owls, not to mention so-called humans, people driving like idiots on our road (speed limit is 25), cats and dogs don’t stand a chance. Welcome ho.e, Leo.
I live in Brampton and have a male ginger tabby who adopted me. I knew there were strays around and left dry food out for them….Willy was one of them, his ribs sticking out: he was under-nourished, obviously. One afternoon, he ran in thru my sliding screen door, jumped on the bed, curled up and looked up at me as tho’ to say ‘Here I am!’…Mindful of my budget, I took him to our Animal Shelter, saying he was a stray, but if they would take him (and quarantine him), I would adopt him after the required length of time. They did, but said normally they would classify him as ‘unadoptable’, and had a hole in his heart.When I asked what was the description of ‘unadoptable’, they said he fought like crazy to avoid being caged. Well, I thought that was a quite natural reaction, and really did not classify him as unadoptable. So I took him and just paid the adoption fee. He has been seen regularly by my own vet of choice, and now, 4 years later, is healthy, and no longer has a hole in his heart. His running around in my backyard has stimulated muscle growth and the hole has filled in and is not discernible. He is very loving and devoted. Initially, he was terrified of men (the mailman @ the door, my son visiting) but that has faded away. He NEVER overeats, seems to know exactly what his body needs, and stops his needs are fulfilled! A perfect pet!
I had a cat missing for 11 days. I did everything possible to find him. He was let out by mistake on a side of the house where he had never been. I almost lost it with worry. Then after 11 days he came in the house through his trap door. Oh, how wonderful. Even gave him a coming home party.
That just lifted my spirit. Thank you, guys. Glad we have such an amazing, loving families like Oakleys and great officers like Officer Edney <3
We had a rescue cat get out of one of our foster homes. He had been out two weeks when decided time to bring in the pros That cat had probably gone farther. So we put up posters all over area, trapped with cameras in 5 location. I spent 3 hours per day for 2 weeks trying to get this cat. Other person also spent a lot of time. Finally trapped him in the middle of thunderstorm 1/2 mile from foster home.
Bottom line. Do not give up. Can take a lot of effort.
Awesome. I wonder if someone caring for him prevented him from going back home or from being found. I think people sometimes assume a pet is a stray when it could be a situation like this.
They must have I was thinking maybe he had just gotten out and was on his way home when they found him cause he was just around the corner