Fourteen years is a long time to spend alone, especially if you’re a cat. Fourteen years to a cat is around 72 human years. That’s how long one lucky black cat, Chelsea, spent wandering the streets of Sydney, Australia. But after more than a decade of surviving on her own, the 18-year-old feline has found her way back home - and it's all thanks to a microchip and a whole lot of luck.
Chelsea went missing when she was just four years old some 14 years ago. Her family searched in vain for their beloved cat, but they were forced to assume the worst when their search for Chelsea turned up no signs; they thought they would never see Chelsea again.
Fourteen years later, an animal rescue group, The Mini Kitty Commune, found Chelsea wandering the streets of Sydney. The black cat was found just 20 kilometers (12 miles) from her home, “frail, starving, emaciated and terribly matted,” the Mini Kitty Commune notes. One rescuer said it was the worst matting she’d seen on a shorthair cat.
The rescue named the “stray” Dante. In her weak state, the rescue sent the cat to a local vet to help her get on the road to recovery. It was there that a quick scan revealed that this so-called stray had a microchip. Dante had a name, Chelsea, and a family, and was listed as deceased.
Obviously still alive, the vets knew they had to let Chelsea's family know. It wasn’t long before Chelsea and her long-lost family reunited. “I was quite surprised,” said Chelsea’s owner, Lee McKenzie. “It was the last phone call I expected.”
After some much-needed TLC and medical care, Chelsea is on the rebound. “For an 18-year-old cat, she’s really healthy,” says Dr. the vet who treated Chelsea, told the Australian morning show. “I didn’t expect her to be that old, especially out to fend for herself.”
McKenzie said she is currently waiting for approval from her landlord to bring Chelsea home. If she is unable to bring Chelsea home, her daughter will adopt the long-lost feline.
Like other joyous pet reunions, Chelsea finding her way back home was made possible by a microchip. May is Microchip your Pet Month, so all you pet owners out there - it's always better to be prepared. Microchip your pet!