Almost a decade after disappearing while being watched by a family friend, Loki the cat has been reunited with his loving family in Edmonton.
Laura Ahmet said her kids were devastated when the orange tabby went missing nine years ago. Her son, Kalob Ethier, was just four years old at the time.
“It didn’t go well,” Ahmet said. “We were all quite emotional.
“He was our first fur-baby. He was my little lovebug and Kalob’s best friend. There was a lot of tears. Kalob in particular never stopped asking for him,” she explained.
“I was just crying pretty much the whole day. He was my best friend and he was just gone,” Kalob said.
The family searched for Loki for days and kept calling Animal Care and Control to see if he’d been turned in. He had a microchip, so they were hopeful.
But over the years, that hope began to dwindle. The family eventually rescued other pets, but looking at photos of Loki always brought up difficult emotions.
Fast forward nine years; Liz Massiah, who lives in west Edmonton, was looking for her lost tabby named Bert.
“On the 24th of March, out he went, and he’s not been seen since,” Massiah said. “He’s pretty wily, so I don’t know if somebody has taken him in or if he’s lunch for a coyote.”
She put up missing posters and blasted social media in an effort to find her cat. She never had a lead, until last week.
“The phone rang and it was somebody saying, ‘I think we’ve got your cat,'” Massiah said. “It turns out they’re a block away from where I live. So I went dashing over there. And it wasn’t Bert,” she said. Her heart sank.
But Massiah hoped that maybe she could reunite the stray with its family. She took the cat to Animal Care and Control to see if it had a chip or tattoo and as it turns out, it did.
Ahmet said the phone call couldn’t have been more exciting.
“They said, ‘Yeah, someone brought him in the other day.’ And I said, ‘OK, I’m coming.’ I instantly hopped in the car and went there,” she said.
“He jumped into my arms and it was crying all around.”
The matted, patchy 15-year-old cat was actually Loki, Kalob’s long-lost best friend.
“I like to hug him and love him and snuggle him all the time now.”
Kalob’s little sister, Evie Ethier, was thrilled too.
“It was one of the happiest moments of my life,” she said.
Ahmet said it’s proof the system works.
“To me, it’s a miracle,” she said. “After nine years, for him to come home, all because of a microchip.”
Edmonton’s Animal Care and Control now offers free microchips with cat licences. The longest they’ve seen a cat be missing before being reunited with its owner is 16 years.
The reunion brought Massiah hope that Bert could be found safe too.
“Get your dogs and your cats chipped,” Massiah said. “If you find a stray, it takes half an hour — take them in and get them checked. You never know.”