After eight long years, and with a few stories to tell, Vanilla the 9-year-old Siamese cat has been reunited with his family.
Vanilla went missing from his home in Sausalito back in 2004 when he jumped out of the arms of his owner and ran off. At the time, owners —Ashley Lowengrub and Lisa Gerson— put up signs for the missing kitty but without success.
In December, San Francisco Animal Care & Control was called to take a cat away from his owner in Noe Valley who had been hospitalized for dementia.
An animal control officer discovered a microchip in the cat and called the phone number encoded on the chip, reaching former owner Gerson in Topanga, outside of Los Angeles.
With the cat long gone, the owners moved to Southern California five years ago. Gerson, though, retained her Bay Area cell phone number.
The owners made their own journey back to San Francisco to retrieve their kitty on Thursday. According to SF Appeal, Deputy Director of the Department of Animal Care and Control Kat Brown in San Francisco said both the cat and family seemed “elated” with the reunion:
“She adopted Vanilla for life; there was no question she was going to get her cat. … It was one of those heart-warming stories.”