Dogs Trust Harefield ordinarily cares for four-legged friends of the canine variety but provided some feline delight for Hayes residents the Bergin family.
Eight-year-old domestic longhair Tabby, Lilith, went missing from his home on 17 July during a storm after he went out for an evening stroll. Not used to his surroundings, since his owners had recently relocated from Hanwell, Ealing, Lilith became disorientated and couldn’t make his way home.
Dogs Trust Harefield’s Canine Carer, Ryan Evans, was approached for advice by his neighbour who was followed home by the friendly feline. Seemingly lost, Ryan offered to take Lilith into work at the rehoming centre to scan him for a microchip. Luckily, the ending wasn’t ‘cat-astrophic’ and Lilith was reunited with his family, Martin and Ewelina Bergin who were understandably ecstatic, albeit a bit confused, when they received a call from Dogs Trust.
Lilith’s relieved owner, Martin Bergin, from Yeading Lane, Hayes, said: “My wife and I let Lilith out quite late, after his evening meal on the 17th July, and were concerned when he didn’t return. It was the night of terrible storms and given that Lilith is petrified of thunder, rain and loud noises, we feared the worst.
“A day turned into two weeks and we were convinced we’d lost him for good. Unfortunately, he wasn’t wearing a collar as he hasn’t got a great track record of keeping them on!
“We contacted the local council to see if he’d been found, placed posters in the local vets and posted leaflets through doors around our area.
“We called his name every night, to no avail. He had never been away from home for that period of time; not knowing what has happened to your pet is the worst feeling and we were distraught.
“We couldn’t believe our luck when we had a call from Dogs Trust – my initial thought was “don’t they usually help dogs?!”
“We’d like to thank staff at Dogs Trust Harefield for taking the time to care for our beloved cat, who’s now an honorary dog!”
On receiving the phonecall from Dogs Trust, Martin jumped straight in the car with his 16-year-old son, Peter, and couldn’t wait to be reunited with their furry friend.
He said: “As soon as we arrived at Harefield’s Rehoming Centre and told the staff who we were, their faces lit up. I was so happy to see him and he looked pleased to see me, too; I cradled him like a baby!
“Being reunited with our family member after over two weeks is incredible. For days after we had him home, he smelled of perfume – he was clearly being fussed over by ladies during his escapade!”
Lilith has also been reunited with the Bergin’s two other feline friends, Lady Grey and Molly Malone.
“Needless to say, we haven’t let him out at night since! He goes out exploring during the day and comes back – I think his trip scared him,” Martin said.
Richard Moore, Rehoming Centre Manager at Dogs Trust Harefield, said: “We were so pleased that we could help reunite Lilith with his family, who were evidently delighted to see him after his fortnight ordeal! Staff were slightly puzzled when they heard that they were temporarily caring for a cat as opposed to a dog!
He added: “Lilith’s story acts as a reminder to owners to contact your microchip database provider to let them know if move house or change your phone number.”
Pet microchip details can be updated online, by telephone or post – depending on which database the animal’s chip is registered to.
For more information on Dogs Trust Harefield call 0300 303 0292 or visit www.dogstrust.org.uk or www.dogstrust.org.uk/help-advice/microchipping-neutering.
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