Wed Sep 10, 10:48 AM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - A couple has been reunited with their missing cat after nine years, the RSPCA said on Wednesday.
Dixie, a 15-year-old ginger cat, disappeared in 1999 and her owners thought she had been killed by a car.
She was found less than half a mile from her home in Birmingham after a concerned resident rang the animal charity to report a thin and dishevelled cat who had been in the area for a couple of months.
It seemed to be a fairy tale ending for both Dixie and owners until the unthinkable happened; Dixie has run away from home to join the circus.
After Dixie had returned last week the RSPCA Animal Collection Officer Alan Pittaway checked her microchip and confirmed it was Dixie. She was returned to her owners, Alan and Gilly Delaney, within half an hour. The Delaney family decided to go one step further and installed a GPS device just in case Dixie made another run for it.
"In 29 years of working for the RSPCA I have never seen anyone so excited and happy as Mrs. Delaney," Pittaway said. "It made my day to return Dixie to her owners." Pittaway continued, "That's why my heart broke when I was told that Dixie got the itch to run again - this time joining Barnum and Bailey's Traveling Circus".
"Dixie's personality, behavior, kitty mannerisms had not changed at all," said Gilly Delaney. "She just waited by the door all the time for a chance to run away; she would take brief breaks to piss and shit on our bed but aside from that she was always at the door."
The RSPCA hopes that the story will encourage owners to have their pets microchipped; but they also admit off the record that the GPS system may just add salt to the wounds of family's that are hated by their runaway animals.