Cats love to roam around on their own outdoors, but occasionally one will wander off and not be seen for days. However, six years is taking matters a bit far.

Indeed, for the Javed family who live in the Old Trafford area of Manchester, the prolonged disappearance of their beloved pet Raffi seemed terminal, so much so that they held a funeral in absentia to give “closure” to their three children, the Manchester Evening News reports.

However, having vanished in December 2016 the missing feline was found by an RSPCA officer in Longsight, five miles away. The charity had been called after a witness saw that there was an injured cat in a back garden.

Thankfully, because Raffi had a cat tracker chip, it was possible to trace him back to a surprised and delighted Javed family. After an operation in a veterinary hospital for an abscess on his back, he is now home and making friends with another cat adopted by the family.

Owner Mustafa Javed told the newspaper: “I was travelling back to the UK from abroad at the time when my brother rang me to say Raffi had been found. We couldn’t believe it.”

The family own a garage and believe the cat may have climbed unseen into a car and got out at the other end.

Raffi’s tracker chip ensured he made it home, but RSPCA inspector Rachel Henderson said it is often “frustrating” for her to pick up a stray cat and find it is not chipped and therefore cannot be easily reunited with its owners.

Dog microchipping has been mandatory since 2016, but in late 2021 the government announced this would also apply to cats, with this coming into force this year. Owners who fail to get cats chipped could face the same £500 fine that applies for not getting a dog chipped. 

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