It pays to get your cat microchipped

A pet is never truly forgotten until it is no longer remembered.

— Lacie Petitto, paediatric nurse

Do you know that it pays to microchip your cat? If your feline has been implanted with a microchip and it goes missing, a microchip can trace the cat back to you.

In Aberdeen, Scotland, a male cat by the name of Forbes was reunited with its owners, Neil and Lucy Henderson, recently after it went missing in 2011. The cat left its owners “distraught” when it disappeared 10 years ago.

Recently, the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) was called in after a thin cat was spotted in Aberdeen.

A microchip scan traced the owners who were now living in Edinburgh. Needless to say, Neil and Lucy were delighted to have 12-year-old Forbes back in their lives. The feline was found less than two miles from where it went missing. Its owners searched for it months after it went missing.

I cried when I read the happy story. The cat reminded me of my own black and white tabby cat, Alvin. It was not only a very handsome and loving cat but a champion rat killer.

With Alvin around, I never saw a rat in my house or garden. Alvin liked to be cuddled and was already quite big and presumably quite old when one of my nephews gave it to me. My nephew lived on the top floor of a three-storey building and had no time to take care of the cat.

Alvin lived with me for a few years. Then, one day, it fell sick and before I could bring it to the vet, it disappeared. I never saw it again after that.

It has been a few years since Alvin disappeared from my house. Some people tell me that a cat which loves its owner very much will disappear somewhere to die. It will not let its owner see it die. I wonder whether this is true or just an old wives’ tale.

Until today, I am still wondering what happened to Alvin. Did it love me so much that it refused to let me see it die? If I had seen Alvin die and buried it myself, I would not have been wondering about what happened to it until today.

There are many stories of cats which returned to their owners after disappearing for many years. Just like the recent story of Forbes in Aberdeen.

But unlike Forbes, my Alvin was not implanted with a microchip. Deep in my heart, I want to believe my beloved cat is still alive and is being cared for by some kind animal lover. I wish I had known about microchips for pets when Alvin was in my care. Then, I would have microchipped it and made it easier for it to return to me if it is still alive.

To find out the cost of microchipping, I recently surfed the internet and found out that while most vets in Malaysia were licensed to vaccinate and microchip pets, the cost of microchipping was not standardised and varied from RM35 to RM100.

In most shelters, I understand that it is standard practise to microchip animals once they reach eight weeks old and most veterinarians also subscribe to this timeline.

Although microchipping services for pets are available in Kuching, they have not been publicised much. Many members of the public are probably unaware of the importance of microchipping because of the lack of publicity.

Blessed are the cat owners who have their felines returned to them or whose felines found their way back to them after many years.

Let me share with you another heart-warming story of a lost and found cat.

Janet Adamowicz, the owner of a feline called Cat, searched high and low for a year when it went missing before finally giving up. But then, 13 years later, she received a call out of the blue from a vet 40 miles away.

She couldn’t believe what she heard but when she got to the vet, Cat was indeed there and it remembered its owner.

My friends, do you know that owning a cat can provide you a myriad of benefits, including lower stress and anxiety, better cardiovascular health and make you feel less lonely?

If you have not microchipped your cat, do it today. Learn from my mistake.

Alvin, where are you? Are you still alive and waiting to come home?