A cat that went missing at the end of January 2022 in Croydon has been reunited with his owner, after making a miraculous return.
Ben, a two-and-a-half years old Tabby cat, slipped out of an open window of a house just off Croydon High Street on January 24.
His owner, estate agent Vanessa Silva, 26, says Ben was staying with her cousin Vera when he made a swift escape.
She explained: “I was in Portugal when she called me and told me that he was gone. I cried like a baby. I couldn’t sleep at night.
“I was so scared he would run to the road and get hit by a car. Croydon is quite a busy area, the cars never stop there.
“It’s also very cold in the UK at the moment, and he is an indoor cat. So he’s used to a warm bed, a warm house, but then there he was out in the cold.”
In a lucky turn of events, Ben turned up at the house just two days later.
Vanessa said: “Someone advised me to put his litter box outside, so we did that. And the next morning, he was at the door!
“I started bawling my eyes out. I was so happy, so relieved.”
Vanessa is just one of thousands of cat owners who have gone through similar experiences.
Animal Search UK, an agency for missing pets, advises the first thing you need to do if your pet goes missing, is to check with local vets and alert your neighbours.
Saqqara Richards, a communications officer at Animal Search UK, says: “Raise awareness immediately in the vicinity.
“Go and speak to your neighbours, double-check if anybody local has gone on holiday – maybe they left their cat flap open and your cat is stuck in their house.”
Cat owners are also advised to microchip their pets as soon as possible, to avoid the risk of their furry friend being stolen.
“Microchipping is categorically the most important thing you can do to keep them safe – It doesn’t hurt the cats, it’s easy, it’s safe. It’s totally, totally important,” says Saqqara.