UPDATED: Feline reunion a decade in the making

UPDATED: Feline reunion a decade in the making

Langley Animal Protection Society staff were overjoyed to reunite a cat and owner after 10 years.

Jayne Nelson is a sucker for happy endings, and being in her line of work, she’s often moved to tears when pets and their humans are reunited.

But a reunion at the Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS) this week had her particularly ecstatic and emotional.

Turns out it was a reunion years in the making.

Tweak is a “gorgeous,” 16-year-old tabby who was brought into LAPS as a stray a couple of weeks ago, Nelson explained.

“She disappeared from her home [a decade ago] during a move, leaving her owner Tamara distraught,” elaborated Nelson, executive director for the Aldergrove-based animal shelter.

After searching far and wide for her, Tamara Deschene didn’t think she would ever see her “fur baby” again.

“I honestly thought she was gone. Like gone, gone,” she added.

She’d had Tweak since she was a kitten.

“Ten long years went by, and Tweak managed to find her way to us [LAPS],” Nelson explained, noting that an Aldergrove resident noticed the cat had been left behind after neighbours moved away about a month earlier. When the cat showed up in their garage, seeking shelter, they decided to take her to the Patti Dale Animal Shelter.

The cat was brought into the shelter on March 12. During a vet check, it was determined she was about six years old and in good health. Turns out she’s much older than that, but still in very good shape, Deschene said.

Staff made several failed attempts to read a faded tattooed, and after a bit of searching finally managed to trace ownership back to Deschene’s grandparent, whose number was used as the contact when Tweak was originally tattooed and spayed.

Deschene was only a teenager when the cat went missing. She believes she was when the cat bolted when the family’s was packing up to move from Aldergrove to Brookswood.

“I guess she was scared.”

Learning her cat had been found, the shell-shocked owner “immediately rushed to the shelter to be reunited with her long-lost friend,” Nelson said.

Tweak was reportedly very affectionate and happy to see Deschene, all purrs and drooling up a storm.

“I felt awful that she was alive all this time and I didn’t know,” she said. “I felt like she recognized me… And I’ve just been beaming from ear to ear.”

Staff were pretty excited, as well – even a few actually tears were shed, admitted Nelson.

Tweak has now returned home to live with Deschene, albeit in a new place and with some new family members. She’s settling in well to life with Deschene, her boyfriend of five years Jake Bell-Hall, and their three other cats (two boys Hades and Zeus, as well as another female named Aries).

“I’m a serious cat woman,” Deschene joked, noting the introduction is being done slowly to help ensure a safe adjustment. “Tweak is been a wonderful addition to our crew.”

“I think she’s fitting in well,” added the 28-year-old cat lover. “I’m thrilled. It’s like a flash from the past, in a good way.”

Permanent markings key to reunion

“We are so excited to have been a part of this happy story, and it is a great example of how important it is to tattoo or microchip your pet,” Nelson said.

She pointed to a handful of reunions in recent months that are directly attributed to tattoos or microchips.

It was microchip in a recovered border collie named Ladybug that a few weeks ago led to a reunion with her owner after three years.

“That one had everyone crying,” said Nelson. “He was crying. We were crying.”

LAPS was involved in another odd reunion back in February, when an Alberta cat – lost in Hope last summer during a move – found its way to Langley and was ultimately reunited with her Vancouver Island family.

RELATED: Langley shelter reunites Alberta cat with its Vancouver Island family

Then, back in December, a dog named Frankie was found wandering in Langley and reunited with his family in Alberta.

RELATED: Dog found wandering in Langley headed to his Alberta family

There have been a few other, maybe not as unique, reunions in the past few months, and it helps drive home the message, Nelson said.

“We really, really strongly encourage people to get permanent ID. Tattoos are great. Microchips are better. And I guess both tattoos and microchips are the very best option.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langley RCMP are looking for witnesses to an apparent shoot out between two vehicles in Langley City and Brookswood on Saturday morning. (Langley Advance Times files)
Shots fired between speeding cars in Brookswood, Langley City

One or both cars were firing shots at the other in the middle of the night

Township of Langley civic facility. (Langley Advance Times files)
Budget shortfall shrinking in Langley Township

Staff showed council a tightened up budget, without borrowing, on Monday

A Langley woman said she was shaken by the angry encounter. (Google Maps)
Woman shaken after belligerent encounter with unmasked man in Langley store

A man angry about vaccines berated a fellow shopper, a witness said

Jen Papageorge, 52, with her teenage daughters Keira and Talia are members of the Westcoast Harmony Chorus. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Dan Jansen VanDoorn, a Langley volleyball player and former TWU Spartan, was heading to Tokyo for with Team Canada. (Mark Janzen/Special to Black Press Media)
Langley volleyball player goes to Gatineau for National Excellence Program

Daniel Jansen Van Doorn was headed to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics before COVID-19 postponed the games

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

A child joins the Uke ‘n Play kickoff event at the Chilliwack Library on Oct. 1, 2016. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Events return, in virtual form, at Fraser Valley Regional Library

People can take part in ukulele jam, bullet journaling, reading groups and more

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

Most Read