Missing cat is reunited with his family after 11 years

Tiger was reunited with his family after more than a decade.
Tiger was reunited with his family after more than a decade. Photo credit: Dutchess County SPCA/Facebook.

A missing cat has been reunited with his family after escaping from its New York home 11 years ago.

John and Maggie Welz adopted Tiger, a small Tabby, after finding the stray kitten wandering near their home, ABC 13 reports. 

Tiger escaped the family home when he was three-years-old - and didn't return.

"We were heartbroken," Maggie Welz told the news outlet.

"We ended up moving to another house a year later, about 10 houses down. We told those owners to keep an eye out for him, but he never returned."

Little did the couple know, Tiger was only a few miles away.

The runaway had a habit of lingering around the home of SPCA worker Caroll O'Conell, WLNY reports.

After seeing Tiger come and go, O'Conell slowly built a level of trust with the cat over three years. Using a scanner borrowed from the Dutchess County SPCA, O'Conell was eventually able to scan the Tabby for a microchip - and discovered he had a family, 11 long years ago.

She contacted John Welz, who didn't connect the dots at first.

"At first it didn't register. Then it dawned on me... that Tiger had been found after all this time," Welz told the outlet.

"He was in remarkably good shape for having been on the streets that long," Dutchess County SPCA said in a Facebook post on Thursday (local time).

On August 21, Maggie Welz was reunited with her now 14-year-old fur baby.

"He crawls right up on me and I just look at him and think, I can't believe you're home with us," Maggie told WLNY.

The couple hope their story will inspire other pet-parents to microchip their furry friends.

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