The story of my cat, Moon Unit, international adventurer.

Once upon a time there was a stray cat hanging around at work, in East London. Nobody seemed to own her, so I took her home and adopted her. She was bitey and scratchy but I loved her, and she liked me better than other humans. We took her to our usual vet and Lo! she was pregnant, and about 5 months old, a real teenage delinquent. So we also ended up with one of her daughters too, Roswell.

Moon Unit back in the day

A few years passed and we had a new year’s party. The next morning we discovered we had one cat missing. Moon Unit had somehow got out during the party and disappeared. We went out looking, printed out posters, told the local cat rescue places, but no luck. People told us about lots of little black and white cats they’d seen, but none of them had MU’s distinctive white nose or big whiskers. So no luck. And we were very sad.

But about a month ago, out of the blue, I got an email from the Kennel Club saying that a cat with a matching microchip had been found. IN PARIS. Now if that isn’t boggling enough, that party was EIGHT AND A HALF YEARS AGO. We exchanged photos with the French rescue place, and it was definitely Moon Unit. Distinctive nose and whiskers as I said. And she has that fur that is dark on top but white underneath.

She had been found wandering around outside a train station in a French suburb, and taken to a cat rescue place, who checked her chip and got in touch. Well, the chip contact details were a bit out of date (did I mention EIGHT YEARS missing?), but the French people were very stubborn and eventually the KC used newfangled email to get in touch with me.

So this weekend we went over to Paris. In the past few weeks, Moon Unit had been checked at the vet, and given rabies shots and worming tablets, and a Pet Passport organised for her. Two lovely ladies came over to our hotel with her on Saturday (we gave them some chocolates and flowers), and we took her to Calais by train (telling her story to the people around us), and our friends met us at the station and drove us onto the car ferry, and back to London. (There aren’t many foot passenger services that take pets).

Back in London we closed all the doors and let Moon Unit out into the hallway. She had a look around, and seemed perfectly fine. I spent the rest of the evening in the hallway with her, and she’s been following me around all day. She’s not been doing that “OMG new place I must HIDE” thing that cats often do — in fact she’s curled up next to me on the sofa as I write this. (Remember she only got back yesterday).

So there we have it. A tale of European cooperation and perseverance and international mystery. How did Moon Unit get to PARIS? How has she survived for over EIGHT YEARS? How did she lose all her teeth? Has no vet checked her chip in all that time? Answers we will never get, until she writes her mewmoirs.

Moon Unit a Paris

Lots of thanks go to Martine and Evelyne at A.D.A.D. (Aide et défense des animaux en détresse) in Paris. We’ve set up a Crowdfunder for them, because cat rescue places always need money. (This is not for our expenses, this is just a gesture).

And the moral of the story — always get your pets microchipped and keep the contact details up to date, even if they are indoor pets. Moon Unit was an indoor cat while she was with us. Hope you enjoyed reading this.


ETA

Press coverage

Twitter

Retweeted by Dweezil and favourited by Moon Unit Zappa :)

Radio & TV

BBC World Service interview

(also mentioned on BBC Breakfast and Radio 4 Today programme)

LBC interview (London local radio show)

http://www.lbc.co.uk/london-cat-that-went-missing-for-eight-years-found-in-paris-134486

Print

London Evening Standard

Also The Times, The Telegraph, The Express, The i, and others.

Web comics

http://pvponline.com/comic/2016-08-02

Web

BBC snippet

BBC quiz of the week’s news

The Sun Online

London Metro (with reaction gifs)

ITV

Express

London Times

Mashable

Uberfacts

https://www.facebook.com/UberFacts/posts/1268830076483412

Daily Mail (but we don’t link to them)

Irish Examiner

Google round-up

News Shopper

Australian 9News (from Mashable)

Israel Today (“and Marna got one of the kittens born to the moon”)

ABC News

http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/missing-london-cat-found-years-paris/story?id=40992138

Diário de Notícias

http://www.dn.pt/sociedade/interior/moon-unit-desapareceu-em-londres-em-2008-e-foi-encontrada-em-paris-5308044.html

French Blogspot blogger

http://lamaisondeschatslibres.blogspot.com/2016/07/8-ans-12-apres-sa-disparition-moon-unit.html

China…

http://www.ettoday.net/news/20160729/744507.htm

Germany…

http://www.noz.de/deutschland-welt/gut-zu-wissen/artikel/751408/katze-2007-in-london-entlaufen-jetzt-in-paris-wieder-aufgetaucht

And AOL, Yahoo, Uproxx, Neatorama, IHeartCats, …