Back after 14 years: Cat who vanished when Gordon Brown became Prime Minister is returned to owner… after finding new home on industrial estate
A cat which disappeared just as Gordon Brown was taking over as prime minister 14 years ago returned home.
Elsa was two when she began spending longer and longer out of owner Ruth Armstrong’s home – until one day in June 2007 she just didn’t come back.
But Mrs Armstrong told how she was stunned to receive a call from a nearby veterinary surgery a few weeks ago to say they had her cat – after staff scanned Elsa’s microchip.
Elsa was two when she began spending longer and longer out of owner Ruth Armstrong’s home – until one day in June 2007 she just didn’t come back
The cat disappeared just as Gordon Brown was taking over as prime minister 14 years ago
‘Because I have other cats I told the surgery they couldn’t have my cat because they were all at home,’ said Mrs Armstrong.
‘It never occurred to me it could be Elsa. My jaw hit the floor when they told me it was her. I still find myself looking at her, wondering about everything she has been through.’
Recalling the time when her pet went missing, Mrs Armstrong, a fitness instructor and mother of one from Hinckley, Leicestershire, said: ‘She was spending progressively longer outside the house. Then one day she disappeared forever.
‘We looked for her for a long, long, time but eventually I figured she wasn’t coming back.’
It turned out that Elsa had been living on an industrial estate a mile from home – where factory workers had been giving her food and water.
Mrs Armstrong was reunited with Elsa after the cat developed a cancerous growth on her back leg, and a harmless cyst on her head. The factory workers contacted the RSPCA, who took Elsa for a check-up at Park Vet Group in Glenfield, Leicester, where her microchip was scanned.
It turned out that Elsa had been living on an industrial estate a mile from home – where factory workers had been giving her food and water
Mrs Armstrong, 50, said the case proved the importance of getting cats microchipped. Earlier this month, the Government announced that all pet cats older than 20 weeks will have to be microchipped by 2023, bringing the pets in line with dogs.
Elsa went under the knife earlier this month to remove the tumour and the cyst and her vet is hopeful she will be able to enjoy her old age.
Mrs Armstrong is keeping Elsa away from her other five cats and four dogs until she recovers, adding: ‘She will not be going out.
‘She will be the most pampered house cat in the world.’