Radio 2

Cat reunited with owner after 2 years and 140 km trip under the bonnet

A cat that went missing from Schilde (Antwerp Province) two years ago has been reunited with its owner.  All this time the cat had been staying with a family in Roeselare (West Flanders) on the other side of the country. It’s believed the cat made its ‘great escape’ by travelling under the bonnet of a car.

Valerie Van Genechten, Syrah’s owner, had been searching for her cat for two years now: “We handed out flyers both in Schilde and in Roeselare. We contacted vets and animal shelters, even taking a holiday to search for our pet.”

After Syrah’s disappearance it soon emerged that the cat had travelled to Roeselare under the bonnet of Valerie’s mother-in-law’s car.  Valerie’s mother-in-law lives in Roeselare and after visiting discovered part of the cat’s collar in her garden.  Pieces of fur were retrieved from under the bonnet.  “She really suffered” says Valerie “but thanks to the collar we knew she had survived.”

Valerie couldn’t believe her ears when she got a bell last week from somebody saying they had found her cat:  “We couldn’t believe it until we saw her chip implant”.

Syrah was in a very poor state when a family in Roeselare took her in.  Recently they had a chip reader handy and checked who was the real owner!

Nele, who had taken care of Syrah for two years, decided to contact the cat’s rightful owners: “We had all these conflicting feelings.  We loved Syrah because she had lived here for two years.  It’s great to hear she has been reunited with her original owners.”

When the cat returned to Schilde she was nervous. “You could see she was nervous and confused, but she soon returned to her favourite spot, recognised the situation and soon felt back at home” says Valerie.

Syrah’s owner intends to keep a better eye on her pet and only let her out with a tracker!

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