Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Pets
  3. General Pets

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

See also

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.

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.



  • ESPYS party
    Athletes and celebrities hit the red carpet at Body at the ESPYS party
    Today's Buzz
  • Healthy balance
    Keeping a healthy balance is so important for your own well-being
    15 Photos
  • Apollo
    NASA observes 45th anniversary of Apollo 11: One giant leap for mankind
    14 Photos
  • Unique jewelry
    Nothing catches the eye or completes and outfit like a great piece of jewelry
    12 Photos
  • Student Farmworker Alliance
    Student-Farmworker Alliance launches 'Boot the Braids' web site
    15 Photos
  • Exercise
    Find out why you should exercise to compliment your diet
    10 Photos

Related Videos:

  • Max: Owner dumps dog at high kill shelter for new puppy
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//;VQ=HD720&amp;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • How You Can Help the ASPCA Protect Dogs On No Pet Store Puppies Day
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • A little donkey patiently waits
    <div class="video-info" data-id="517453659" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>