Christine De Castro rang in the new year by reuniting with an old friend — her tabby cat, Loli, who had been missing for 11 and a half years.
De Castro told Global News Toronto that Loli went missing from her family’s home in Vaughan, Ont., in the summer of 2010.
Loli was just two at the time of her disappearance.
After searching for the tabby extensively, De Castro accepted the little cat was gone for good.
That’s why she was so shocked to receive a call from Vaughan Animal Services on New Year’s Day, saying Loli had been found.
She said she was in “disbelief and shock” when she got the call, adding she was “really pumped,” because she had been missing Loli for so long.
“It was great to know that not only was she still around, but that she was waiting for me to pick her up,” she said.
De Castro said the representative from Vaughan Animal Services told her someone had trapped Loli in their garage.
“I’m assuming she went in there because it’s freezing outside and was looking for somewhere to stay warm,” she said.
De Castro said Loli’s microchip helped to identify her.
“It’s a mystery where she’s been,” she said.
De Castro said reuniting with Loli after 11 and a half years was “surreal.” Loli is now approximately 14 years old.
“She’s definitely a little bit older, a little grumpier-looking than she looked like when she was a young girl of two,” she said. “But very much the same cat in every other aspect.”
De Castro said she still can’t tell whether Loli recognizes her or not.
“It’s really hard to say; cats keep their cards close to their chest,” she said. “But she has been very loving with me, so I like to think that it’s slowly coming back to her.”
According to De Castro, Loli is being kept separate from her other cat and two dogs at her home in Waterloo while the tabby cat settles in.
De Castro said she’s not a “big believer in miracles.”
“But I think it’s kind of fated that 2022 started with a cat that I really thought was a goner, reintroduced into my life,” she said.
De Castro said she encourages all pet owners to microchip their furry friends, and to make sure their information is up to date.
“I moved around a few times after I had Loli, but my phone number never changed,” she said.
De Castro also urged people to donate to their local no-kill animal shelter.