A LONG lost cat - given up for dead after he went missing at a Highland holiday park - has been reunited with his delighted owners a remarkable three and half years after he vanished, it was revealed today.
Murphy, a ten year old black cat, went missing in the summer of 2009 while he and his owners, the Maloney family from Johnstone in Renfrewshire, were spending their holidays at Drimsynie Holiday Village at Lochgoilhead in Argyll.
The heartbroken Maloneys have been searching for him ever since, returning frequently to the area in a desperate bid to find their much-loved family, pet.
But it was revealed today that Murphy and his owners were finally reunited this week after the cat was taken into the care of the Scottish SPCA when he turned up last Saturday morning at the holiday park, suffering from a sore eye.
Animal carers at the SSPCA immediately scanned him for an identity micro-chip . And when they found one they were able to contact his shocked and relieved owners to tell them their long lost cat had been found safe and well.
Murphy is now back home with the Maloneys at their home at Spateston, Johnstone. And a delighted Julie Maloney said: “After a year and a half of searching we reluctantly gave up hope of ever seeing Murphy again so we got another cat, a wee female. She’s not too happy about Murphy’s return but we’re sure they’ll accept each other in time.”
She continued: “Murphy has been really clingy these past few days so we think he’s glad to be back after such a long time apart from us and of course, we’re delighted he’s finally home.”
Adam Downs, the Assistant Manager of the SSPCA’s Dunbartonshire and West Scotland Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre, explained that Murphy had been holidaying with his family in the Lochgoilhead area almost four years ago when he escaped from his cat carrier as the family were packing up their car to go home.
He said: “The Maloneys are regular visitors to the Lochgoilhead area and it was when Mrs Maloney was celebrating a special birthday back in 2009 that they decided to take the whole family, including Murphy, on holiday to join in the celebrations.
“It appears Murphy enjoyed his time in the area so much that he made a run for it when the family were getting back into their car to go home. The Maloneys have been searching for him ever since, returning to the area frequently to look for their much-loved pet.”
He continued: “Gradually they lost hope of ever finding Murphy again.
With the passing years their children grew up and left home and Mrs
Maloney eventually rehomed another cat thinking she would never see
her beloved Murphy again.”
Mr Downs said that Murphy had been taken into care of the charity after being found suffering from a sore eye at the Drimsynie Holiday Village on Saturday morning. After being identified through his microchip the SSPCA had contacted the “shocked but delighted” owners.
He said: “We were delighted to send Murphy home with his long lost
family, and he now has Mrs Maloney’s daughter’s bedroom all to himself as she has since left home and married.”
Mr Downs added: “This is another remarkable example of how important it is to get your pets micro-chipped as we’d never have been able to reunite the Maloneys with Murphy if he didn’t have this essential piece of identification.”