Missing cat reunites with owners after six years
A missing Siamese cat has been reunited with his family after "vanishing" more than six years ago.
Thirteen-year-old Bailey is now curling up on the couch at the Ainstable home of Craig and Robin Kerr, and their three children, Heti, aged six, three-year-old Theodore and Toby, aged two, after turning up unexpectedly.
He went walkabout from the couple's then home at Armathwaite in April, 2014, and Robin believed that he had probably been knocked down by a car or tractor when searches of the local area proved fruitless.
But completely out of the blue, Robin received a phone call from a receptionist at the Frame Swift & Partners veterinary practice at Penrith, asking if she had lost a cat.
"She asked if I had lost a cat and I initially said: 'No, I don't have a cat'," said Robin, who is a nurse at the urgent treatment centre in Penrith. "Then she pressed a bit more and said it was a Siamese cat and as soon as she said that I thought of Bailey."
Staff at the veterinary practice had scanned Bailey's microchip and it had the telephone number of Robin's mother, Barbara Hetherington, who runs Beck Brow Alpacas, encrypted on it and through her they were able to make contact with Robin.
"We had just assumed that something awful had happened to him. It was silage time when he went missing when tractors were flowing backwards and forwards in the village and we just assumed that he had been knocked down. He had just vanished," said Robin.
"I had given up all hope of ever seeing him again. It never entered my head that we would see him again after six years, particularly as we had moved house twice as well."
Bailey was "a little worse for wear" when the family got him back and had lost weight and was suffering from an eye infection.
"He is much better now and has settled into family life and enjoys curling up on the sofa," said Robin.
"When he went missing Heti was only a baby and there are now three children.
"The cat must be thinking: 'Blimey, they have been busy for the past six years!'"
The family got Bailey as a kitten and before he went missing would walk with the couple and their dogs and was well known in the Armathwaite area.
One piece of information the couple have since received suggests that Bailey may have been in the Baskodyke area when he went missing.