Ashton cat missing for eight months reunited with owner
Wednesday 5th October 2016 @ 11:51 by Adam Higgins
Ashton Community News Stalybridge

The Reporter and Chronicle has helped to reunite an Ashton cat rescue worker with one of her beloved animals – eight months after he went missing.

Michelle Soler-Canton burst into tears of joy when her stout tabby Ted, who disappeared in January, finally returned to his Cockbrook home on Monday.

He had been staying with an elderly woman close by since the middle of August – before she recognised a picture of Ted in our newspaper advert because of one of his distinguishing features.

A relieved Michelle told the Reporter: “It was such a shock when I got the call! He’s been staying at this lady’s house for three and a half weeks but she spotted the rip in his ear and identified him.

“I’ve been wondering where he has been before then – probably roaming the streets somewhere, but he can’t have gone far.

“He’s lost loads of weight and has seemed a bit confused about where he is but he’s enjoying his food now and has been relaxing on the windowsill.

“He’s got a front bedroom to himself where I’ll keep him for a month – he’s got an activity centre for scratching and stimulating and a TV because cats like background noise so he’s well looked after.”

Message to owners

Michelle has expressed her gratitude to the woman who brought Ted under her wing and hopes the reunion sends a message to other owners whose cats have gone for a walkabout.

She added: “I hope it will make other owners realise never to lose faith if their cats go missing – no matter how long they’ve been gone for – because they will always be nearby somewhere.

“I had a dream last week that he would come home and then I got a call from Mrs Forrest who lives 10 minutes away and keeps five rescue cats of her own that were abandoned and unwanted. She’s a lovely compassionate lady and I’m going to take her some flowers as a thank you for looking after him.

“I’m overwhelmed and still pinching myself now.”

Neutering cats

Michelle, who has been brought up with cats since the age of three, takes care of 24 rescue cats every day and has multiple cats living at her home.

Like all of her cats, Ted is neutered and microchipped and wears a safety collar.

Michelle has been promoting Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) – where free-roaming cats are trapped, treated and then returned to the outdoors – in Stalybridge for five years.

And she is encouraging all owners to get their cats neutered to be safe than sorry.

“I took it up after speaking to a woman who covers the High peak but she couldn’t manage the Tameside area as well,” Michelle explained.

“I received two weeks training from her and then bought my own trapping equipment but I’ve helped to neuter thousands of cats since.

“One of the main reasons Ted went missing was because I was in hospital and he thought I wasn’t coming back.

“But at least 80 per cent of cats go missing because they are not neutered or microchipped so I would strongly urge owners to do it.”

If you would like to get more information about neutering your cat, you can message Michelle directly on the Stalybridge Feline Care Facebook page or call 07470 095084.