Dignified end for globetrotting puss Ozzie found by Cats Protection 9,000 miles from home
06 July 2015
A globetrotting puss who baffled cat charity volunteers after turning up in County Armagh 9,000 miles from his Australian home has died after suffering kidney failure.
Ozzie the cat was handed into Cats Protection’s Armagh Branch after being found as a stray scavenging for food in a garden last month.
Volunteers were stunned when a routine scan revealed he had a microchip registered in Sydney, Australia, and spent weeks unravelling his international adventures.
But after solving the mystery of how he ended up in Northern Ireland, volunteers were heartbroken when vets advised the 15-year-old be put to sleep after suffering total kidney failure.
Gillian McMullen, Coordinator at Cats Protection’s Armagh Branch, said Ozzie’s Australian owners were traced who explained his past.
She said: “When he came to us, he was a bedraggled and malnourished stray so we were amazed to see he had come all the way from Australia. We named him Ozzie and set out to search for his owners.
“It turns out he was originally called Tigger and had come to the UK with a pet passport along with his family on their travels. Somehow he had become separated from them – we’re not sure how – and had ended up being homed to a new family in the Armagh area.
“It seems he had managed to get lost and that’s when we found him as a stray.
“He was a lovely cat, very wise and so very affectionate. We were really hoping for a happy end to his story, but he had developed serious and untreatable kidney failure.
“In the end it proved too much for him and he was very weak and ill. It was heart-breaking when the vet said the only thing we could do was to have him put to sleep.
“He was 15 and had clearly led a very colourful and eventful life. In the end, he died very peacefully and quietly in my arms.”
Cats Protection is the UK’s largest cat charity, helping over 205,000 cats every year through a nationwide network of 250 volunteer-run branches and 31 adoption centres.
The charity recommends microchipping as a safe and permanent method of identification which increases the chances of a lost feline being reunited with its owner.
Gillian added: “It is only because of a microchip that we were able to identify Ozzie. But as his case highlights, it’s really important to keep the details up to date. Details of how to change a registered address should be given on the microchip documents.”
To find out more about the work of Cats Protection, visit www.cats.org.uk
Notes to Editors:
1. Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and helps over 205,000 cats each year through a national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 31 adoption centres.
2. Cats Protection’s vision is a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs.
3. Cats Protection’s registered charity number is 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland).Founded as the Cats Protection League in 1927, the charity adopted the name Cats Protection in 1998. We ask that you use the name Cats Protection when referring to the charity in all published material.
4. More information about the work of Cats Protection can be found at www.cats.org.uk