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A tale of two kitties

April 17, 2009

Actually, two tales of two kitties, but there’s a point beyond which a strained play on a literary reference renders the reference pointless.

Jezebel linked to a story about a couple who were reunited, after a two year period, with their much-loved 20lb Maine Coon cat.

Bob was brought to the local humane society in Minnesota two years after his disappearance and workers found a microchip embedded under his skin with the Meide’s contact information. When they moved they didn’t update their contact information. Workers could not find their new phone number, but eventually thought to search for their names on Facebook. “We love everything about his personality. We love the size, we love big, fat cats,” said Nicole Meide, who first got Bob with her husband after they returned from their honeymoon. She said Bob’s return “brought tears of joy.”

It was a good week for fat tabbies and their estranged owners, although the story in The Age’s Diary section was bittersweet:

Five years ago, Amanda and William (who preferred to keep mum about their surnames) returned from a weekend away to find their beloved moggy, Francisco, had vanished. “We spent forever looking for him,” said Amanda, who was eight months’ pregnant at the time but frantically pounded the streets distributing flyers, knocking on doors and searching in vain. “He was a big, fat, tabby cat — very good-looking, actually — but he wasn’t adventurous,” she recalled. The couple thought they had heard the last of Francisco until they got a surprise call last week informing them their fat cat was alive and well and living under a new identity with a family in Malvern East. It turns out another family had taken in Francisco five years earlier after they found him whimpering under their veranda, two kilometres away from his original home. His past life finally came to light when the family took him to the vet last week to get him microchipped only to find he already had one. Francisco’s original owners were shocked to get a call informing them of their cat’s apparent resurrection just before Easter. After some reflection, they decided not to enter into a cat custody battle with the new family who had come to love their long-lost pet, now known as Piper. “He is our cat technically, but there’s no point in making another family miserable,” Amanda told Diary. “My husband came home and said, ‘We can’t do it.’ We’ve already mourned him. But we are glad he is alive.” The couple are willing to settle for access rights and hope to arrange a reunion soon. A furrytale ending for all.

Probably because of the “Man in a Jacket” Witchery campaign, I’ve become a bit cynical about some of these “heart-warming” stories. Of course, against-the-odds-pet-reunions do happen and are reported (usually in that spare couple of minutes after the weather), but the timing and similarity of these stories made me suspicious: were they planted in support of “International Pet Microchipping Week”?

A Google search brought up a blank on a global Microchipping push and the Facebook page for Shane Meide checks out – he even has the photo of his cat as the profile pic – but I’m still dubious about the local version of the tale. There’s something about them wanting to “keep mum” about their names that piques my interest…

Maybe I just have to get back to work and spend less time trawling the internet.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. realityravings permalink
    April 21, 2009 10:20 pm

    Good God I thought I was a conspiracy theorist but I think you have surpassed me. If it was a viral marketing campaign what a good one.

    I love the way you investigated your theory as thoroughly as you could trying to find holes in the respective stories.

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