How a tiny chip reunited Helen and Simon with their cat after half a decade

A couple who thought they’d lost their cat forever were reunited with her after five years — thanks to a microchip. Helen and Simon Evans, from Ipswich, say they feared the worst but couldn’t grieve as they didn’t know for sure what had happened to rescue cat Millie who disappeared in 2019.

However, they were stunned when she was found 25 miles away and they were able to be contacted through details on her microchip.

A full check-up at Orwell Vets in Suffolk, where Pet Health Club members receive a microchip as part of their benefits, showed her to be in good health and she’s now happily settled back into the family home. 

Now, ahead of new legislation making cat microchipping a legal requirement, the couple are backing vets’ calls for owners to get their cats chipped, as they’d never have been reunited with Millie without one.

Millie arrived in Helen and Simon’s home as a kitten in 2012 and, after close shaves when she fell through ice into a pond and was hit by a car, she vanished in spring 2019. “We were living in Laxfield at the time, and the whole village was out looking for her,” recalled Helen.

“We hunted for months and had leaflets and posters all over.

“Because we had so many chances of losing her with the accidents, I was grateful for the time we’d had with her. But she was a big hole in our lives, and we didn’t feel we could grieve as we just didn’t know if she had died or maybe someone had taken her in.”

When the couple moved to Ipswich, they were sure they’d never see Millie again, until they got a call a few weeks ago. Millie had been scanned at a vet practice near their old home after being handed in by someone in nearby Fressingfield where she had been looked after for at least some of the time. “I couldn’t believe it when I got the call to say she’d been found,” said Helen. “I always thought if a call did come, it would be to say she’d been knocked over.

“She didn’t seem to recognise us at first, but when I was feeding her I could see in her little eyes that she knew we’d done this before. “Within days it was like having our old Millie back and she’s settled right in with our other cats.

“We’re so glad we updated her microchip details when we moved house, or we would never have gotten her back. “If cats go missing and they aren’t microchipped, there’s a very good chance you will never know what happened to them or get them back so you should definitely get it done.”

There are more than nine million cats in England, with around a quarter unchipped. Microchipping will become compulsory in England from June 10, and owners found not to have microchipped their cat will have 21 days to have one implanted or face a fine of up to £500.

“It’s astounding that Millie was safely found and identified so many years after going missing,” said Orwell’s clinical director Harriet Joseph-Scutcher. “It was a very happy ending for all involved. But sadly, many cats aren't as lucky as Millie when they get lost and never get reunited with their owners. “This really does stress the importance of getting cats microchipped.”
Pet Health Club is a subscription-based service that provides comprehensive preventative healthcare for dogs, cats, and rabbits. It offers pet owners peace of mind with plans covering vaccinations, parasite treatment, microchipping, and exclusive discounts on products and services.

Join Pet Health Club