AFTER five years missing, a beloved cat has been reunited with his owners in Fife. 

Smoke, a Bengal cat, was separated from his owners, Kev and Janet in 2018 when he was just under two years old.

He was bought alongside two of his littermates, Silver and Charcoal, and the whole family was devastated when he disappeared.

Kev said: “When Smoke was taken, the loss was felt not only by us but by the remaining two brothers who used to look around the house for Smoke weeks after he disappeared.

“I’m not convinced Silver ever got over the loss, sadly Silver developed a tumour and had to be put to sleep seven months before Smoke returned.”

Immediately after Smoke disappeared, the family put up posters around the local area, on streetlamps and in shop windows, and knocked on neighbours’ doors to ask if they had seen Smoke.

Janet contacted the local cat shelter which shared pictures and a description of Smoke on social media which led to lots of leads, but none resulted in finding Smoke.

As time went on, sightings of Smoke seemed to slow, Kev shared: “We became less hopeful and we began to feel that the chances of getting him back were dwindling… We just hoped he was given a good life, wherever he was.”

Then in 2022, the family moved house and Kev updated their contact details with Petlog, the database Smoke was microchipped with, in the hope he may one day be found.

Five years and two months after Smoke went missing, Kev received a phone call from a vets practice in a town ten miles away. The vet told Kev they had his cat.

“It took me by surprise because Charcoal was asleep upstairs," he said. "But when the vet said it was Smoke, who had been brought in for minor treatment, scanned and traced to us via the Petlog microchipping database, that was a shock, to say the least.

"I didn’t quite want to believe it until I had seen him!”

On arriving at the vet, Kev and Janet were told that the couple who had brought Smoke in had been looking after him and keeping him indoors for the last five years, around three miles from his home.

Now safely in the family’s new home, Smoke is settling back in.

Kev continued: “The meeting with his remaining brother, Charcoal, was handled with care and despite worries about them possibly not getting on, they obviously remembered each other through scent and re-bonded within a couple of days.

“Smoke is a very traumatised cat, he’s getting used to being outdoors again, though he is scared of his own shadow, noises, sudden movements and smells.

"It could be a long process but I’m sure we’ll get there.

“We have only had this second chance with Smoke because he was chipped and our contact details were kept up to date.”

A microchip is the size of a grain of rice which is inserted under the skin at the back of an animal’s neck.

It permanently identifies pets and connects them with an owner’s contact details, which are held on a database, like Petlog, enabling vets, local authorities and animal charities to scan the chip and match it to the owner’s details to reunite stolen, lost and found pets. 

Bill Lambert, spokesperson for Petlog, added: “We’re so pleased that Smoke has been reunited with all his family because of his microchip, and their story is a great lesson for owners to keep their contact details up to date with their microchip database, no matter how much time has passed."

For more information on microchipping your furry friend, visit the Petlog website.