IN 2007 Tony Blair was Prime Minister and a much-loved cat called Harry went missing from his home in Leamington.
And while the country’s leader may have changed several times in the last 13 years, Chris Osborne branch co-ordinator of Mid-Warwickshire Cat’s Protection never gave up hope of again seeing Harry.
In that time she has helped reunite nearly 150 lost felines with their owners through the charity she runs – but her own Harry was always the ‘one who got away’.
But on Tuesday (March 5) she got the news she had been waiting for when she received a text from a vets less than two miles from her home saying they had found her missing 15-year-old ginger cat.
Chris – who has headed up the local Cats Protection for 16 years – told the Observer: “I was so gobsmacked, and I have done this for a long time. I have reunited many cats with their owners and for someone to take my own in to be scanned for a microchip is amazing.
“The vet text me and I just stared at the phone trying to work out which one of the cats currently missing Harry was, then I realised he was mine.”
She believes Harry – who was fit and well – may have had another owner or have gone to different homes getting food.
And in a bid to now keep him on home turf she is ‘practicing what she preaches’ and separating him from her other four cats and two dogs so he can settle into home life.
But Harry may have other plans as less than 12 hours after being reunited he was already sat staring out of the window.
Chris added: “When he went missing I always said one day I’ll get a phone call but I did not think I’d have to wait this long.
“I’m hoping I have got him back so I can take care of him in his twilight years.”
And the charity co-ordinator says the tale cements her belief that all cats should be microchipped – something which costs around £15 and is available at vet practices.
She said: “To me getting them microchipped is a no brainer. You love them so get them done.
“And if a cat turns up don’t just take him or her into your home, make sure you get them checked for a chip, someone could be missing them.”