Long-lost Winnipeg cat returns 9 years later – Winnipeg

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Michelle Bombay did a double take when the Winnipeg Humane Society called last month asking if she owned a missing cat.

She had been – almost nine years ago.

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Bombay couldn’t believe it, but the caller told her that Eva – actually her cat, missing since 2013 – had been found and was waiting to be picked up.

“I hung up on the phone and then told my nieces and nephews that our cat Eva had been found and they were all excited,” Bombay said of the unexpected call.


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“I was so surprised…I was just, really shocked.”

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Still in disbelief, Bombay abandoned what she was doing and, along with her niece, rushed to human society to retrieve Eva before it closed.

Sure enough, Eva looked a bit older but healthy and, says Bombay, much taller.

“We didn’t realize how much weight she had gained,” she laughs.

“My niece, she was happy too, and she was like ‘oh my god, has she ever gained weight. “”

On the left, Eva before her disappearance in 2013. On the right, Eva now that she is back home.


Submissive/Michelle Bombay


Bombay says her then much slimmer kitten “kind of took off” from her home in north Winnipeg in November 2013.

“We kept calling her when she disappeared, and we walked around the neighborhood and nothing,” she recalls

“So that’s why I just made the post about him. And then I just forgot I had a job for her.

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Audrey Barnabe, manager of admissions and animal care at the Winnipeg Humane Society, says a tattoo on Eva’s ear helped them find her owner.

She says that after identifying Eva with the tattoo, Humane Society staff were able to find Bombay via Facebook, where she still had a message about Eva on Lost Cat Assistance in Winnipega page dedicated to reuniting lost cats with their owners.

“We do a lot of detective work, including Facebook research, so social media is very helpful to us,” Barnabe says.

‘Never lose hope’

Barnabe says that in 17 years of working at the Humane Society, she has never seen a missing cat return after such a long period of absence.

“It just goes to show, never give up hope – keep looking for your pet – always submit a lost report with us and for dogs, also submit the latest report with animal services,” Barnabe says.

“It’s hope for people who lack animals.”

Barnabe recommends that all pet owners have their pets tattooed or microchipped.

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She says that without the ID, the Humane Society would not have been able to find Bombay and likely would have ended up putting Eva up for adoption.


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Instead, Eva was one of approximately 400 missing pets. According to Barnabe, the Winnipeg Humane Society brings its owners together every year.

Unsurprisingly, Barnabe says these reunifications are some of the best part of his job.

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“Cats, you know, don’t show it so much, but I’m sure they’re happy when they come home,” she says.

“But the dogs are really excited and show that when they are picked up by their owner, it’s pretty exciting.”

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Eva is settling in now that she is home.


Submissive/Michelle Bombay


Now home for a month, Bombay says Eva is settling in and getting used to the three new cats she had while she was away.

While Bombay can’t say where Eva’s adventures have taken her, with her healthy size she’s pretty sure she was loved – and well fed – while she was away.

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“Somebody just said they brought her, that’s all (human society) could tell me,” Bombay said.

“No idea at all who was looking after her, but they took good care of her.”


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