The Darkness singer Justin Hawkins reunited with missing cat after three years - thanks to her microchip
13 June 2016
Cats Protection has reunited The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins with his long-lost pet cat – an amazing three years after she went missing.
Ten-year-old puss Cully was handed into Cats Protection’s Anglia Coastal Branch after being found living as a stray in Lowestoft, Suffolk, in May.
But a routine scan for a microchip revealed the Bengal puss did in fact have an owner – singer and lead guitarist Justin, one of Lowestoft’s most famous former residents.
Branch Coordinator Delphine Wood was quickly able to make contact with an overjoyed Justin, who took a break from a hectic tour schedule to travel to the UK to collect Cully.
The reunion came during National Microchipping Month and as Cats Protection renewed calls for new compulsory microchipping laws to apply to cats as well as dogs.
Delphine said: “We get lots of strays and sadly many are not microchipped, so we’re always pleased if we find one. When the owner’s details came up, I thought the name sounded familiar as my boyfriend is a fan. I was just relieved there was a phone number and it was up to date.
“I contacted Justin and he was so thrilled to hear Cully was alive, fit and well. It’s always really lovely to give someone the news that a long-lost pet has been found and it was clear how much Cully meant to him.
“This story goes to show why microchipping is so important – had Cully not been microchipped we would never have been able to reunite her and Justin would never have known what had happened to his much-loved pet.”
After contacting Justin, Cats Protection volunteers arranged for her to have the necessary vaccinations to be able to travel to Switzerland, where Justin now lives.
Justin said: “Losing Cully was heart-breaking for me and my family but I always knew in my heart that she was still alive; I could just feel it.
“She's always loved the great outdoors. I periodically checked in with the relevant databases and kept my details up to date because I knew this day would come. Thanks to Delphine’s terrific work, Cully can come home at last.
Figures released today by Cats Protection1 reveal that less than a third of pet cats are microchipped and one in four have no identification at all.
With over a quarter of owners reporting that their cat had gone missing at some point (27 per cent) and nearly 40 per cent relying only on a collar for identification, Cats Protection says the survey shows why cats would lead safer, happier and healthier lives if owners were legally required to have them microchipped.
“Every year thousands of cats go missing. This is heartbreaking for owners and means that cats which become lost and injured may never be returned to their homes. In the case of cats which require ongoing medical treatment or need a special diet, this can have a devastating effect,” said Beth Skillings, Cats Protection’s Clinical Veterinary Officer.
“Microchipping is a simple and cheap procedure which gives cats the chance to be safely and quickly returned to their owner. Collars can cause serious injury and can come off and get lost, whereas microchips are quickly and permanently inserted under the skin.”
While the success stories mean a happy ending for cats like Cully, many more are never reunited with their owners so Cats Protection microchips an estimated 31,000 cats a year.
The charity’s Facebook and Twitter pages will be focusing on microchipping throughout June using the hashtag #NationalMicrochippingMonth
To find out more about the benefits of microchipping, please visit www.cats.org.uk
or call the charity’s helpline on 03000 12 12 12. Ends
For more information or for a photo of Justin and Cully please contact Michaela at Adastra Media by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07740 305918.
Notes to Editors:
1. Cats Protection commissioned Atomik Research to survey 2,000 cat owners across the UK in May 2016.
2. Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and helps around 200,000 cats and kittens each year through a national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 32 centres.
3. Cats Protection’s vision is a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs.
4. Cats Protection’s registered charity number is 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland).
5. 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.
6. More information about the work of Cats Protection can be found at www.cats.org.uk
7. Photo credit: Trevor Fuller/Caters News