‘Miracle’ cat returns to Exmouth family after vanishing for 16 months

PUBLISHED: 17:00 12 February 2018

Anneliese Coles reunited with her cat Tabby. Ref exe 06 18TI 7204. Picture: Terry Ife

Anneliese Coles reunited with her cat Tabby. Ref exe 06 18TI 7204. Picture: Terry Ife

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“I called my husband and was crying so much. He nearly dropped his phone! My daughter came home and just broke down – she couldn’t believe it,”

Said Anneliese Coles, who was recently reunited with Tabby, her family’s beloved cat.

Tabby back at home in Exmouth. Ref exe 06 18TI 7212. Picture: Terry IfeTabby back at home in Exmouth. Ref exe 06 18TI 7212. Picture: Terry Ife

An Exmouth family has urged others to chip their pets after their 18-year-old moggy went missing for over a year before making a ‘miracle’ return.

Anneliese Coles and her family were left devastated when their beloved cat ‘Tabby’ disappeared without a trace, on November 18, 2016.

Having let the cat out as usual, with her ‘best friend’ Sadie, the German shepherd, she later found it ‘strange’ when Tabby was nowhere to be found.

Tabby back at home in Exmouth. Ref exe 06 18TI 7214. Picture: Terry IfeTabby back at home in Exmouth. Ref exe 06 18TI 7214. Picture: Terry Ife

The Coles frantically asked neighbours, the local vet and appealed on social media for help finding the cat, which had been part of the family for 16 years.

But despite more than 18,000 responses on Facebook and the efforts of what seemed like ‘the whole of Exmouth’, the Coles were left disappointed.

Two Christmases passed and the family feared the worst.

Tabby back at home in Exmouth. Ref exe 06 18TI 7216. Picture: Terry IfeTabby back at home in Exmouth. Ref exe 06 18TI 7216. Picture: Terry Ife

Anneliese said: “We had some really cold weather and she was quite a small, petite cat. We told my daughter we didn’t think we were going to see her again.”

But last Thursday, after 16 months of searching, Crown House vets called the Coles with news they had been desperately hoping to hear.

“I thought they had found her body, but the vet said, ‘she’s sat in the kennel looking at me now’. That is when I broke down,” said Anneliese.

It was revealed Tabby spent time with two different ladies in Littleham and on a visit to the vet with one of the kind strangers her chip was checked.

Anneliese said: “The vet couldn’t believe it and checked three times – she couldn’t believe a cat would be gone that long, at her age.

“I called my husband and was crying so much. He nearly dropped his phone! My daughter came home and just broke down – she couldn’t believe it.

“As soon as that cat came in she recognised us. I said ‘Tabby’ and she made her little squeak. Sadie was trying to lick her through the cat box.”

And now Anneliese is using her experience to highlight an important message.

She said: “Please chip your animals. It is so worth it and Tabby’s story shows that. Never give up hope because miracles do happen; there is a way, they can be found.”

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