Micro-chip miracle of Jester's journey

AN adventurous cat travelled more than 100 miles from his home after jumping on a delivery van.

Lizzie Parry

WHEN Jester the tabby cat went missing from his home on April Fools' Day, it was no laughing matter for his upset owner.

But there were smiles all round last night when Jenny Fenton was reunited with the runaway cat, who was finally found more than 100 miles away.

Mrs Fenton last saw the seven-month-old at her home near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, on Tuesday, just as she received a parcel delivery.

Along with her two sons, aged nine and 13, she had searched every street and alley near their home and had given up hope of finding Jester.

And so she was “absolutely delighted” when - at 8.45am yesterday morning - she received a call from Feline Care, a cat sanctuary and rescue centre near Thetford, to say he had been found safe and well.

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“I burst into tears - I thought he was gone forever,” she said. “We are really lucky - he truly is the best cat in the world.”

Mrs Fenton believes that, after she received the parcel, Jester had hopped into the waiting delivery van, which was on route to Amazon Leisure, a gym and fitness equipment supplier near Thetford.

His unwitting journey was discovered when staff at Feline Care were using traps to rescue feral cats at the company. At midnight on Thursday, during a last check, Jester was discovered trapped.

The traps are bated with food and it is likely that, after his gruelling journey, Jester was tempted by the opportunity for a late supper.

Molly Cutmore, manager of Feline Care, said Jester was able to be reunited with his owner because he had been fitted with a tiny micro-chip, about the size of a grain of rice.

“When we discovered Jester, it was very obvious that he was a domestic cat and so we scanned him to check for a chip,” she said.

“It is a very unusual case and obviously it promotes the importance of micro-chipping pets.”

Had Jester not been chipped, Feline Care would have checked neighbouring villages and towns for missing pets but it is likely he would have been re-homed locally.

Mrs Fenton said: “We weren't going to have him chipped, he was going into the vets and it was just a spur of the moment decision. We were trying to decide if it was worth it - now we know it was.”

Mrs Fenton travelled over 100 miles re-tracing Jester's journey yesterday and returned him safely back home.

Micro-chipping is a painless procedure; it costs around £20 and involves an injection to place the chip under the animals' skin.

Any animals can be micro-chipped but most commonly cats, dogs and horses are identified in this way.

When a pet is chipped they receive their own unique code number. Owners' details and the code are then put on to the national Petlog database.

When a lost or stolen animal is found the code can be revealed by a scanner. The code can then be matched with the Petlog database.

More than 450,000 animals have been micro-chipped in the last 5 years in the UK alone.

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