It’s always heartbreaking to lose your pet. Many owners of lost cats and dogs will do everything they can to search for them and are reluctant to give up hope, but at some point just need to move on.
One man always wondered what happened to his cat who vanished over a decade ago—but recently, a phone call revealed his stunning fate.
Back in 2004, Perry Martin, now 60, was living on the Gold Cost of Florida when Hurricane Jeanne struck the area. In the wake of the storm, Martin temporarily moved in with a friend—and brought along his 4-year-old cat, Thomas Jr., or T-2 for short.
But shortly after the move, the cat escaped and was nowhere to be found.
“I was devastated,” Martin told The Dodo. “I looked everywhere for him. I had neighbors looking for him. I spent all of my free time just looking.”
Martin, a retired canine officer with the Fort Pierce Police Department, had made sure to get T-2 microchipped. He knew from his job how important it was in identifying lost pets and reconnecting them with their owners.
So Martin held out hope that someone would soon contact him about his cat—but the call never came.
Eventually, Martin accepted that his pet was gone for good.
In the 14 years since T-2 went missing, Martin moved away to Ohio before returning to the Florida Coast, naturally assuming his cat was deceased.
“I got done grieving and moved back home,” Martin told TCPalm. “I just went on about my life.”
But recently, Martin got an unexpected call. It was his cat’s old veterinarian—and he had a very surprising question for him.
“They said, ‘Perry, what would you say if I told you somebody found T-2?’” Martin told The Dodo. “I said, ‘Well, I’d probably tell you that you’re crazy.'”
But he wasn’t crazy—a stray cat had just been found by Martin County Animal Services, and through its microchip, they were able to identify the owner.
T-2 was alive all along!
It took 14 years, but the cat was finally going to be reunited with his owner, waiting for him at the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast. Everyone was in shock by the unlikely discovery.
“It’s a crazy amount of time for a cat to be gone,” shelter adoption manager Deidre Huffman told TCPalm. “No one took him to a vet to be scanned and no one reported that they had found him. Thankfully, he finally was found and brought to us.
“I figured it was a mistake,” Martin said. “It was too crazy to believe.”
“I just can’t imagine him living in the wild, but I guess it’s possible.”
T-2 is now 18 years old—pretty up in years for a cat, and all that time living out on the streets has left him malnourished. But Martin is glad to have his old pal back, and is determined to make up for lost time and give him the good life.
“T-2 hasn’t left my side. He’s been sitting on my lap and following me everywhere,” Martin told The Dodo. “Believe it or not, he’s actually purring. I haven’t heard a cat purring for 14 years. I have the feeling that he knows he’s home.”
It’s a remarkable story—and for Martin, the important takeaway is to make sure you get your pets microchipped … and to keep your info up-to-date, no matter what.
“Get your pet microchipped. It doesn’t cost much,” he said. “If you take the initiative to do that, make sure you also keep the information updated. I had moved around in the years that T-2 was gone.”
“Update the info, even if you think they’re gone forever.”