Nothing helps in stressing the importance of microchipping your cat (or dog, for that matter) than stories of long-lost felines who end up surviving and finding their owners. While there are a number of stories where the cats were united with their families again, sadly, there are multiple times more cases of cats who don’t survive. Luckily, Duke the Bengal cat isn’t one of them!
In 2005, Duke had been fostered by a couple named Elizabeth and Joshua Chase for a short time until the feline found its forever home. Elizabeth last spoke with Duke’s adoptive parents in 2006, and at the time, all seemed to be well. Almost seven years later in February 2013, Elizabeth received a call saying that Duke had arrived at the SPCA in Pomona, California shelter and when the staff scanned the chip, her information came up.
It turns out that the couple that adopted Duke broke up and moved away – and in all the madness, the cat ended up on the streets. The sweet cat had been fending for himself for over three years. And you could tell: he was infested with mites, his eyes sealed shut, and his body covered in sores. He was also severely underweight.
“We pieced together the backstory that Duke was living in the neighborhood where his adoptive family had previously resided, and that he was being fed by various cat-loving neighbors,” Elizabeth says. “One concerned neighbor noticed that Duke’s health had declined. The shelter staff told us that this lady brought him in when she couldn’t stand to see him in that condition anymore.”
Duke’s healthcare was not coming cheap, though – in the first six months of his road to recovery, he required about $3,000 worth of veterinary care. They were able to raise the funds on GoFundMe and ended up sharing the story of there adorable Bengal. The duo was initially just going to keep Duke until his recovery and then they would have to adopt him again.
Photo Source: Duke’s Friendatorium Facebook