A veterinary nurse has been reunited with the cat she lost more than 14 years ago – and made headlines in the national press.

Rachel Wells, who works at White Cross Vets in Wolverhampton, last saw 18-month-old Snitch when he walked out of her house in 2003.

Desperate search

Rachel Wells
Rachel Wells meets Roger Colbourne and Tiger.

She spent months desperately searching for her pet, who was microchipped, but eventually gave up and resigned herself to having lost him forever. However, despite moving house three times over the next 14 years, she always updated the chip details “on the off-chance”.

Snitch, meanwhile, had taken up residence with the Black Country Living Museum’s maintenance team in Dudley, Birmingham – just three miles away from his former home.

Life at the museum

Roger Colbourne, who has worked at the museum for 27 years, quickly took a shine to him and the pair became inseparable. Mr Colbourne has fed and cared for Tiger, as he is now known, for more than a decade, with the cat waiting for him at the museum gates every morning.

Tiger’s cover was blown when a microchip scan revealed he had once belonged to Miss Wells, who coincidentally now lives just a few doors away from the museum.

The animal had always been healthy and this was his first visit to a vet – and the first time he had been scanned in 14 years.

Huge relief

Miss Wells said: “I spent months putting up posters and trying to find [Snitch], but it proved fruitless. However, working as a VN means I’ve seen a number of pets reunited with their owners after long periods, so I never gave up hope and each time I moved house I always updated my contact details on his microchip, on the off-chance he ever turned up.

“When he finally reappeared after all these years I couldn’t believe it and especially because he’s now living so close to me. It’s a huge relief to know he’s safe, well and is being so well looked after by Roger and the Black Country Living Museum.”

Miss Wells says her former cat is so content with Mr Colbourne she has no plans to separate them. Their story made the headlines in The Daily Mail.

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