Stray cat struts 160 miles from Wales to Swindon

By Ben Fitzgerald - 11 March 2020


A bedraggled cat, which turned up at Thameswood Vets, had somehow travelled 160 miles from its home in Carmarthen, Wales.

A staff member explained: “We had a little black cat brought in to us by a gentleman who was working on a local building site here in Swindon. The cat had been spotted and assumed to be a stray, looking for scraps. The cat was friendly and enjoyed having lots of cuddles with our vets and nurses.

“Whenever we get a stray animal in we scan for a microchip to see if they have a family who may be missing them. This is where Harri’s story took a turn for the unexpected! His  microchip showed that he was indeed registered to a vet’s practice and did have a family who were looking for him, that family were the Happs family, all the way from Carmarthen in Wales! Somehow, Harri the cat had travelled over 160 miles and ended up in Swindon!

“The Happs family live in a little village called Llansteffan, by the river outlet onto the sea. Harri is very much a country cat, and not used to an urban environment, like Swindon!”

Harri’s owner, Susan Happs, said “We last saw him on New Year’s day. We looked for him for a few days - he just didn’t come back. Gradually we started to wonder whether something bad had happened to him. We wondered whether he’d perhaps got caught up by a fox. We live in an area with a lot of holiday homes, so we started to look to see whether he might have got shut up in somebody’s house after Christmas, where they’d shut the house up and left. Trying to think of all these different things we could do.

“We didn’t give up but we were just being realistic, really, that these things happen with cats, perhaps he was gone.

“We were shocked and delighted, and completely bemused as to how he ended up in Swindon!”

Thameswood Vets said: “The Happs family and Harri are delighted to be reunited, and he’s back living his best life with his friend Mim, their female cat. We would all like to thank the gentleman that brought him in to us and enabled us to reunite him with his loving family.

“Harri’s story is important because more than 70,000 pets go missing each year, and whilst it’s a legal requirement to microchip dogs, it isn’t with cats. We will always try to reunite an animal with their loving family, even if that’s just so they can say goodbye should the worst have happened.

“Microchipping is a quick and simple procedure and can be done at any age, taking less than five minutes to complete. The microchip is smaller than a grain of rice and usually sits between the pet’s shoulderblades for life. They can be read by anyone who has access to a scanner, including vets, police and the dog warden.”

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