As several attendees took a break during the Association of Dog and Cat Homes conference at the Telford International Centre they were greeted by a large black-and-white cat who had taken an interest.
Beni Benstead, Manager of Cats Protection’s Tyneside Adoption Centre, found herself to be the chosen lap where the furry feline made himself comfortable.
When the group was told the calm cat had been hanging around for some time, Sallie Conroy, Rehoming Supervisor at Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary in Bury, went to fetch a scanner which Beni used to scan for a microchip.
The microchip revealed a phone number, and they managed to get in touch with owner Sian Tawn, who confirmed it was her pet Sammy who had gone missing earlier in the year. Already travelling for work, she immediately made a detour to collect her beloved cat to bring him home.
Sian said: “We had feared the worst that we would not see Sammy again. He was an adventurous cat who would wander off for a day or two at a time but after he was gone for five days we didn’t think we would see him again.
“It was a stressful time as we were moving house and I was panicking about what would happen if he turned up once we’d moved, but to be honest we didn’t think he would.
“It was amazing to get the call to say he had been found and was alive. I immediately brought him home and after a quick explore of his new home, and seeing the cats he was brought up with, he went upstairs to be with my husband and just slept non-stop.”
The conference centre where Sammy had been hanging out was some seven-minute drive from his original home.
Sian added: “Considering he may have been living on the streets all this time, he looks quite well. He has lost a lot of weight and has some bald patches where his very long fur may have got caught, but people must have been looking out for him.”
As well as new house, Sammy will also have to get used to a new puppy in the home and a new baby on the way in just a few weeks.
Sian was most excited about picking up her four-year-old son, Bruce, from nursery and sharing the news that Sammy had been found.
Beni said: “It was a team effort to get this lovely cat back to his owner. It really was a stroke of luck for him to wander up to a group of cat lovers who immediately sprung into action to try and get him back home. Sian was so excited to see Sammy, and we look forward to hearing how he settles back in with his family.”
Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary Manager Karen Weed said: "I am so pleased that Sammy decided to visit the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes Conference for help! It really is like he knew where to come. We were all so delighted to see him being reunited with his owner.”
Microchipping cats will become compulsory in England from June 2024. Cats Protection’s research shows that across the UK, 2.8 million (26%) cats are not microchipped. In England there are 2.3 million cats that are not microchipped.