Spike, a friendly tabby cat, who went missing more than a year ago from Writtle College, surprisingly turned up at a Veterinary surgery in Kent on Friday. Spike was reunited with staff and students late on Friday afternoon, where he promptly settled back into his old routine at the freshly opened Titchmarsh Centre for Animal Studies.
Spike, who is also fondly known as the College cat, was found to be missing after an equine event was hosted on campus during the summer of 2010. After the event Lecturers and Technicians from the Animal Studies department noticed that Spike had gone missing and put ‘missing’ posters around Writtle village, located in the rural Essex countryside, but no one came forward with any news of Spikes whereabouts.
Over twelve months later Spikes safe return to the College is owed to a tiny microchip, the size of a grain of rice that was implanted under his skin. The unique number registering Spike to the College showed up on a microchip scanner after he had been left as a stray with the Veterinary Surgery in Orpington, Kent.
Grace Parker, Lecturer in Animal Studies and Vet Nursing commented:
“As well as teaching at the College, I was also once a student there and I always remembered Spike being around, so I was completely devastated to hear that he had gone missing. Because he was missing for such a long time, we all thought that he was gone for good.”
“Stories about missing pets do not always end on such a good note, hence why we were all so shocked to hear that Spike had been found - it really was such good news for the team, especially because we all work with animals are care passionately about them. What was the best and most impressive thing about this story is that Spike was able to be reunited to the College thanks to his microchip, which just goes to show how important it is to have your pet microchipped.”
“Spike is now settling back into the Animal Unit but we to keep him inside for a few weeks because of the relocation of the Unit to the new Titchmarsh Centre. Thankfully he is in excellent condition and not underweight at all and we are all just so happy to have him back with us – he really is a big part of the Animal Unit.”
It is currently estimated that there are over 10,000 microchip scanners in use throughout the UK. Scanners can be found at most veterinary practices, Local Authorities and animal welfare groups. Local Authorities and animal welfare groups use scanners to check stray cats and dogs to see if they have been microchipped.
All owners that have had their pets’ microchipped will have their details registered to a national database, which is how Spike has now been returned to Writtle College.
Pictured: Spike resting peacefully at the Titchmarsh Centre Animal Unit.