A pet owner has been reunited with her cat after an agonising three-year-long wait.

Three years ago, a now 12-year-old cat, Izzy, mysteriously never returned home one day in Middlesbrough, leaving her owner Rachel Booth-Gardiner, 41, devastated not knowing where she was or what happened to her.

Izzy with her owner RachelIzzy with her owner Rachel (Image: PDSA)

Despite Rachel’s attempts to locate her, creating posters, sharing on social media, as well as letting the microchip company know she was missing, Izzy had vanished.  

Izzy the cat has been reunitedIzzy the cat has been reunited (Image: PDSA)

Rachel said: “We tried to remain optimistic in hopes we’d one day see our beloved Izzy again, but after three years, we began to assume we’d never see her again. We were beyond heartbroken just not knowing.”   

Izzy had been adopted alongside her brother Hugo by Rachel in 2017 and both quickly stole the hearts of the family.  

On May 30, 2024, just a few miles away, a 12-year-old female cat was brought into Middlesbrough PDSA Pet Hospital to get microchipped, due to the new cat microchipping legislation.

Izzy and HugoIzzy and Hugo (Image: PDSA)

The cat was scanned to check if she already had one, and to the shock of everyone, they found she was already chipped. 

When the vet team checked the microchip company database, the cat was registered as missing, so they got in touch using the contact details on the database.   

Rachel got the shock of her life when she received the call, Izzy had been found safe and well and had been living another life, with a family who took her in only a year before in 2023, assuming she was a stray.   

Izzy resting on the bed at homeIzzy resting on the bed at home (Image: PDSA)

Thanks to Izzy’s microchip, she was reunited with Rachel the next day, after three years apart.   

Because Rachel had kept her contact details up to date with the microchip company, it meant there was no delay in letting her know it was Izzy who had been brought into the PDSA Pet Hospital.  

Rachel added: “We got the call we never thought we’d receive; it was an absolute shock! We couldn’t be happier to have Izzy back in our lives. She’s twelve years old now, we last saw her in 2021 when she was nine, so we’ve got lots of making up to do!”  

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Izzy has always been a huge part of her owners’ lives – especially during 2020 when Rachel had a long stay in hospital. Izzy also seemed happy to be reunited with her family as she wouldn’t stop her signature meow when the three of them met again.   

“I think she recognised me”, Rachel added, “and she recognised Hugo!  

“It’s surreal to have Izzy back. We are giving her lots of time to get used to being back home as it is a big change in routine for her again”.