Lifestyle & Human Interest

Woman Spots Sickly Looking Cat on Side of Road, Turns Out He'd Been Missing for Seven Years


How long would you search for your pet if it got lost?

How long would you hold out hope that someday you’d be reunited with your four-legged friend?

It took seven years for one cat owner, and now the story of a man and his cat being reunited is warming hearts and being used as a reminder of the difference a microchip can make.

When Robert was preparing to make the move from California to Ohio seven years ago, he fully intended to move with his beloved cat, Chebon. But Chebon had other plans, and sometime before the move he went missing.

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Being a dedicated owner, Robert stuck around for another year, hoping against hope that he’d find his 12-year-old cat — but the cat never turned up, according to the video from Ventura County Animal Services.

Robert eventually moved to Ohio, and didn’t hear anything more about his feline until this November, when he got the surprise of his life. In California, a woman had brought a sickly cat she found to a vet, and after a vet scanned him, they found he had a chip with Robert’s information.

Gena, the woman who found the cat, called Robert. The vet who scanned for and found the chip called him. The humane society called him.

Robert quickly made plans to travel back to California to see if the cat really was his long-lost Chebon.

In the video posted by Ventura County Animal Services, he said he initially thought there might have been some sort of mix-up or mistake, but as soon as he saw the cat, he broke down.

“Most Emotional Reunion EVER!” the Ventura County Animal Services posted. “REUNITED AFTER 7 years and 2,000 miles! Robert just landed at LAX and drove to the Camarillo Animal Shelter to reclaim is beloved friend!”

“Gena, a Ventura County resident, found Chebon (now 19) on the side of the road playing with a couple of neighborhood kids. She saw he was in poor condition and she brought him to the Ojai Village Veterinary Hospital for fluids and treatment…and that’s where they found the MICROCHIP!”

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“The information connected to the microchip led them to Robert who now lives in Ohio! She called him to deliver the unbelieveable news and he made arrangements to fly to California to reclaim him.”

“Everyone was crying! This has to be the most emotional reunion we have ever seen. If this doesn’t convnice you to Microchip your pets, then we just don’t know what will.”

“I remember at one point I was praying and I said, ‘God, I’ll do anything, just bring my Chebon back,'” Robert recalled.

Years ago, at the suggestion of his veterinarian, Robert had decided to get Chebon microchipped. He said the vet knew how much he loved his cat, and urged him to get Chebon chipped, saying, “Until we can teach animals to talk … I think it’s the best method of taking care of your cat.”

Because of that decision, he was able to be reunited with his furry friend. He spent a few days locally with Chebon before flying home with him.

Plenty of viewers have freely admitted that they didn’t get through the video without shedding tears — and they weren’t alone. Randy Friedman, marketing manager for Ventura County Animal Services, told The Dodo they were all suffering from a similar case.

“Everyone in that room — there was another animal control officer and she was crying, I was tearing up,” Friedman said. “It was amazing from beginning to end — and it was all because of a microchip.”

“At one point, [Chebon] hugged him, and Robert just started bawling,” he added. “You don’t see that in cats too much. … It was just so touching.”

“I have a lot to be thankful for,” Robert said. “I remember it was just a couple weeks ago before she called I thought ‘there’s going to be something special about this Christmas, about this holiday season.'”

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