Seven years after it went missing, a woman in Rheinfelden, Switzerland, finally located her 16-year-old cat. The cat was found in an animal sanctuary in Muttenz, Switzerland.
The circumstances of the moggy’s disappearance were relatively simple. Winnetou just snuck out of his cat net.
His owner told 20 minutes:
“I had left him on my balcony, which was enclosed in a cat net, at the time. It’s clear he broke free, yet “
She recalled that time with regret.
“For months, we actively sought him out. Using posters and the STMZ website’s “lost individuals” section. But to no avail.”
Seven years later, almost miraculously, Winnetou reappeared. In August, Netap, a nonprofit dedicated to animal welfare, took in the feline.
Before he arrived at the shelter, the calico puss previously lived in a residential area in the Frick region for many years, Frick being only a twenty-minute drive from Rheinfelden. Residents regularly fed Winnetou so he hadn’t lost weight and remained sociable.
One day, a local remarked that Winnetou looked sick; the person searched for the cat’s owner in vain. Therefore, this neighbor called a shelter to report an unwell stray cat in the area.
Shelter Network for Animal Protection (Netap) sent someone to examine the cat and check for a chip. They found one.
However, there was no working phone number in the pet database. The original owner, who had since relocated, was tracked down with the aid of the Rheinfelden municipal government.
Esther Geisser, head of Netap, adds, “She didn’t think he was alive anymore.”
Winnetou’s previous owners had to give him up because they got two new cats that refused to get along with him. Formerly known as Winnetou, the shelter in Muttenz has renamed him Perlios as he waits for his forever family.
The shelter shared Winnetou’s story online. Although Perlios’s former owner could no longer take him in, she was still happy to hear that the senior had survived the seven years.
Things to do when finding a stray cat
There is still the unanswered question of how Winnetou, alias Perlios, escaped detection for seven years. According to Esther Geisser,
“far too frequently, neighbors feed cats without checking for missing animals. It’s best practice to see whether anyone in the area recognizes a stray cat before doing anything else. “
If that’s not the case, the shelter worker recommends calling an animal center for missing felines reports. Additionally, she suggests making a paper collar with the text “Please take me home” and attaching it to any foreign cats you encounter that may be homeless.
This way, pet owners might open up to worried neighbors and provide information about their animals. Esther Geisser felt unfortunate that in seven years, no one has ever gone to the clinic with this stray.
Daily, Netap discovers stray cats that are either elderly, ill, or wounded; sadly, many of them are not microchipped.