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Lost cat presumed dead, found alive after 12 years due to ear tattoo (videos)

They say a cat has nine lives. Meet Maxine. She’s 16 years old and spent three quarters of her life on the run. That came to an abrupt halt when she was spotted and taken in to custody at the Vancouver SPCA. Lorie Chortyk who works with the operation, spoke with Global News and described in full detail how an ear tattoo led to the discovery and location of Maxine’s rightful owner who now lives in Florida.

Maxine the cat, missing 12 years and presumed dead, found alive
Maxine the cat, missing 12 years and presumed dead, found alive
Video screen grab/Global News

Chortyk explained the shelter’s procedure of checking every animal for a tattoo or microchip. In Maxine’s case, a bit of detective work was needed as the letters on the tattoo had faded over time. They successfully traced the tattoo back to a veterinarian who had listed Maxine as deceased. In fact, Maxine’s owner sadly believed her cat was dead before moving on to the Sunshine State. Maxine, however, was very much alive and whether she found another home, or lived 12 years on the streets remains a mystery. However; due to Maxine’s condition and ill health, Chortyk suspects she hasn’t had the benefit of a loving home throughout her years on the run.

“I suspect she’s been wandering on her own a lot because she is just not in a very good condition. It is clear she has needed veterinary care and has not had it. The life of a cat on the street is tragic, and we see it too often,” Chortyke told Global News.

Once identified, Chortyk says Maxine’s owner was elated to know her pet was alive and anxiously awaits a reunion. If Maxine is too sick to make the journey to Florida, her owner will have good friends who remain in the area adopt her. Fortunately, Maxine’s days alone, cold and rummaging for food, water and shelter are over.

Chortyk also pointed out the importance of having pets microchipped, tagged or tattooed. Due to stories like Maxine’s, it’s clear to see how important it is to ensure that the pets we love and hold dear to our hearts can be identified should they ever lose their way from home.

Click here for a video interview with Lorie Chortyk.

Charisse Van Horn is the owner of the Pets and their Peeps blog. You may follow Pets and Peeps on Facebook.