CBS Local — A Florida cat has finally found his way back home after getting separated from his owner 14 years ago. The miraculous reunion was made after the long lost feline disappeared during a 2004 hurricane.
Thomas Jr., also known as T2, was with his owner Perry Martin when Hurricane Jeanne hit Florida’s Treasure Coast. The pair moved in with a friend in the aftermath of the storm. “People didn’t have air conditioning, so as time went on people left their windows and screens open,” Martin said, via CBS46. “I was staying in Stuart at the time and he slipped out.”
Although T2 had a lost pet microchip implanted in 2002, the orange tabby was never found and Martin assumed the worst. “With him being microchippped, I figured someone would find him and call me,” the 60-year-old told TCPalm.
When T2 failed to turn up, Martin was forced to move on with his life and eventually moved to Ohio. Years later, Martin moved back to Fort Pierce and received the most unexpected phone call of his life in early March. On March 9, an animal control officer found an old tabby and took him to the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast (HSTC). Workers discovered a microchip near the tabby’s shoulder and were shocked to find out who the stray was: Thomas Jr.
“It’s a crazy amount of time for a cat to be gone,” HSTC manager Deidre Huffman said. “No one took him to a vet to be scanned and no one reported that they had found him.”
“I just went on about my life,” the cat’s owner added after the reunion. “I guess T2 did, too, because who would have thought that after 14 years, you’d find your lost cat?”
Humane Society workers say having an ID microchip implanted in your pet is one of the most important things an owner can do for their animals. “Pets don’t carry wallets with ID, so anything you can do to get your pet home, you want to try everything possible,” said Humane Society director of education Janet Winikoff.
Martin added that his old friend is still recovering from his long life on the streets of Florida but is starting to remember his former owner. “He’s still skin-and-bones and he’s 18 years old, but he’s still T2.”