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Aberdeen family ‘cry happy tears’ after cat that was missing for over two years returns

Maddie the tabby cat who went missing over two years ago.
Maddie the tabby cat who went missing over two years ago.

An Aberdeen family have been reunited with their pet tabby cat who had been missing for over two years.

Maddie went missing from Northfield in January 2019 when she was just two-years-old, and her owners had almost given up all hope of seeing her again.

Owner Debbie Carver explained that when Maddie went missing it had been a particularly bad winter and when the cat did not come home when called she began to worry about her.

She recalled: “I couldn’t sleep, I was up and down, it was so unsettling for months and months.

“I put adverts in the Evening Express and the Press and Journal, I advertised her in the Fubar Lost and Found Pets, I did a lot of door-to-door leaflets, social media posts and people did say ‘I saw a tabby’ but it was never a positive sighting of Maddie.

“Even though I was told to not give up hope, I wouldn’t say I fully gave up hope but I was 90% sure I would never get her back. It was either a case of someone’s taken her because she’s such a good natured cat or something horrible has happened to her.”

From Northfield to Dyce

However, last week a vet called Mrs Carver to tell her that she had found Maddie at a stable in Dyce while checking on the horses thanks to her microchip.

The girls who work at the stables had noticed the tabby frequenting the area for the past couple of years and after asking around the farmhouses thought she was just a stray.

But, when the vet was doing her check of the horses on Friday (July 16) one of the girls happened to ask if the she was carrying a scanner to check for a microchip.

Thankfully, Maddie was microchipped and registered correctly as the vet was able to trace her family. She explained that the cat was still at the stables because she didn’t have a carry-case on hand to take her back to Aberdeen.

According to the vet and Cats Protection, felines can travel for miles but they believe Maddie must have jumped into a car or delivery van.

Mrs Carver said: “It’s absolutely nuts that it’s even happened, I can’t believe it.

“I knew she hadn’t ventured because she was a homely cat and she never ever went far. I mean if I shouted her she would always come meowing, I used to always take her in for her bed and everything.”

Finding Maddie

On Saturday, Mrs Caver, her husband and young daughter went to the stables to try and find their beloved pet, however, there was no sign of Maddie.

It was an extremely hot day on Saturday so it was thought the cat was hiding out in the shade trying to keep cool and the stable girls said they were welcome to keep coming back to find her.

Mrs Carver visited the stables a few times and on Tuesday (July 20) the girls had said there was still no sign of Maddie, which was unusual because they would normally see her every couple of days.

She said: “I was like ‘oh God, I hope nothing bad has happened to her after just being told we’ll get her back’ and I was only home for half an hour when I got a call saying she was there.

“Me, my husband and my daughter were all in a state driving out and getting her, they’d closed her in the tack room so she couldn’t run away. They thought she was going to be very wary of me, the Cats Protection guy thought she wouldn’t know me after two and a half years.

“I just went into the room and shouted her name and she came running over, circling round my legs meowing. I got her in the box no bother and that’s been it.”

Maddie’s return

Maddie is now in isolation at home so she can readjust and get used to her surroundings again, but according to her owner she is settling in well.

Maddie is settling in well at home. Supplied by Debbie Carver.

“Her purr is the loudest I have ever heard it,” Mrs Carver said. “We took her home and fed her and played with her and she was purring non-stop. Just constantly going between me, my husband and my daughter. Then she just settled down and went to sleep, it was as if she thought ‘that’s me home’.”

The family have two other cats, Missy and Jess, who have missed their younger sister since she disappeared over two years ago. Maddie has a check-up with the vet on Friday and it is hoped that she can be reintroduced to her siblings after.

Mrs Carver said: “I just can’t believe I’ve got her back, I keep thinking it’s a dream. I just think I’m going to wake up and it won’t be real.

“We’ve had happy tears now, there were a lot of sad tears before. It just shows if I hadn’t got her microchipped I would have never got her back. Definitely get your cat microchipped because you just never know.”

This article originally appeared on the Evening Express website. For more information, read about our new combined website.