An­i­mal crack­ers!

the If you’ve lost your cat, in neigh­bour­hood – who you gonna call? The cat hunter! Meet Louise Davies, Pet Detective...

Real People - - NEWS - with Jane Com­mon

In­spec­tor Paws

Turn­ing my car into a res­i­den­tial street, I gasped. About 20 peo­ple were lin­ing the road­side, await­ing my ar­rival!

Or, more pre­cisely, the ar­rival of the cat in a car­rier on my back seat.

‘I can’t be­lieve you found him,’ his owner wept.

Henry, a Nor­we­gian forest cat, had been miss­ing for two-and-a- half years and, al­though skinny and flea-bit­ten, he was fi­nally home.

It was Au­gust 2017, and this was all in a day’s work for me.

I’m a cat detective, re­u­nit­ing lost pets with their fam­i­lies, and suc­cesses like this make the job worth­while.

I hadn’t even been look­ing for Henry, but a lady had called to say there was a stray in her gar­den.

Dash­ing over, I scanned his mi­crochip and called the de­tails

through to the char­ity I work with.

Five min­utes later, I was on the phone to Henry’s owner, telling her the in­cred­i­ble news.

It all started when my one-yearold Ben­gal, Daisy, didn’t come in for tea one af­ter­noon, back in Septem­ber 2015. I was dev­as­tated.

‘It’s just not like her,’ I fret­ted to my hus­band, Paul, 58.

I rang the mi­crochip com­pany and re­ported her miss­ing, put leaflets through doors and posted her pic­ture on ev­ery Face­book miss­ing pets page. Daisy has an ex­tra toe, I wrote.

At work as a home help, I kept burst­ing into tears.

Back home, I was con­stantly tense, lis­ten­ing for a thump through the cat flap, heralding her re­turn.

Then, eight days after Daisy dis­ap­peared, a carer at the Sue Ry­der Hos­pice, two miles away, called.

‘There’s a cat lurk­ing in our flower bed,’ he said. ‘I spot­ted your Face­book post and this cat is iden­ti­cal to yours – and even has an ex­tra toe.’

Sure enough, when I ar­rived at the hos­pice and called Daisy’s name, she emerged from a rose bush and ran to­wards me, me­ow­ing.

‘Thank you so much,’ I gulped to the staff, over­come.

I reckon Daisy must have jumped into the back of a de­liv­ery van vis­it­ing ours – stop­ping at the hos­pice as she tried to make her way home.

I shared my good news on all the Face­book pages.

Then a lady called Jean con­tacted me…

I’ve lost my Per­sian and

I’m dis­traught, she wrote.

I’ve been in your shoes and it’s hor­ri­ble, I replied.

But don’t give up hope.

A fort­night later, some­one spot­ted her cat in their gar­den.

See­ing a need for some­one who could of­fer ad­vice and sup­port to peo­ple who’d lost their pets, I set up two Face­book pages for cats miss­ing in Glouces­ter­shire.

Soon, I was spend­ing up to six hours ev­ery day on the com­puter, shar­ing pic­tures of miss­ing cats and email­ing peo­ple ad­vice on how to find them.

My cats – three Ben­gals and a res­cue Si­amese called Har­vey – helped, sit­ting on my lap as I typed my mes­sages.

Last year, char­ity An­i­mals Lost and Found in Kent asked if I’d be its Glouces­ter­shire vol­un­teer. ‘Yes!’ I cried, thrilled. Hav­ing of­fi­cial sta­tus al­lowed me ac­cess to the data­base that lists the ad­dress linked to ev­ery cat’s mi­crochip.

So I’d scan a stray with my mi­crochip scan­ner, then call in the chip num­ber to the data­base.

Within five min­utes, I’d be on the phone to a re­lieved owner.

Sadly, not ev­ery story has a happy end­ing, and I’m of­ten called out to scan dead cats found on the road­side.

Call­ing their own­ers is heart­break­ing, but at least they have clo­sure.

My big­gest suc­cess has been find­ing a cat who’d been miss­ing for eight years.

He was hang­ing around our lo­cal Waitrose but was ex­tremely shy. It took me sev­eral vis­its – and lots of treats – to make him trust me. When I rang the own­ers to tell them Kit-kat was in my car, they couldn’t be­lieve it.

‘We have to pay you,’ they wept when I de­liv­ered him to their door. But any money

I re­ceive, I do­nate to dif­fer­ent cat char­i­ties. Help­ing cats and their hu­mans is re­ward enough. I won’t paws un­til ev­ery miss­ing moggy is back home and safe.

Louise Davies, 58, Chel­tenham,


Don’t give up hope…

My job is very re­ward­ing

I love cats and want to help other own­ers

This is a de­vice to scan the cats’ mi­crochips

Send us your an­i­mal sto­ries, funny pics & pets of the week – there’s £25 for each one we print! Write to Real Peo­ple or email let­ters@ re­alpeo­

Get­ting Daisy back was the best feel­ing

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