Tearful owner reunited with missing cat after 13 years

Gemma Barbieri, from Thetford, has been reunited with her cat Rose after she went missing 13 years ago.

Gemma Barbieri, from Thetford, has been reunited with her cat Rose after she went missing 13 years ago. - Credit: Cats Protection

A cat owner was overcome with emotion after being reunited with her much-loved cat who had been missing for 13 years.

Gemma Barbieri, from Thetford, had always been hopeful her cat Rose was alive after she went missing in 2008 but was in a state of disbelief when she was reunited with her after all these years.

Rose was admitted to Downham Market Adoption Centre as a stray and was reunited with her owner Gemma Barbieri.

Rose was admitted to Downham Market Adoption Centre as a stray and was reunited with her owner Gemma Barbieri. - Credit: Cats Protection

Rose, who was one year old when she went missing, had been admitted to Downham Market Adoption Centre as a stray. Her whereabouts before that remain a mystery.

The feline had been adopted in 2007 along with her brother Tyler as a birthday present for Ms Barbieri's daughter Alicia, who named them after Billie Piper's character in Doctor Who. She is yet to be reunited with Rose but looks forward to it in the coming days.

Rose and her brother Tyler

Rose and her brother Tyler. - Credit: Cats Protection

Ms Barbieri said: “In June 2008, Tyler was hit by a car and killed instantly. We were all very upset. Then a few months later, Rose went into the garden and never returned.


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"We put up posters and knocked on doors."

But after 13 years, Rose was admitted to the adoption centre and scanned, and to the team's surprise she was chipped and logged as missing.

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Cat care assistant Jessica Hatcher said: “We called the number registered to the chip and prayed that it was still in use. When the lady answered, she was over the moon. We were both in tears as she shared her story.”

Rose was admitted to Downham Market Adoption Centre as a stray.

Rose was admitted to Downham Market Adoption Centre as a stray. - Credit: Cats Protection

She said: “I couldn't believe it when they asked if my cat had gone missing in 2008. I just blurted out ‘have you found Rose?'

"I was so stunned, I was shaking.”

The now 14-year-old feline was said to be "talking all the way home" after being picked up and had settled into life with her owner almost immediately.

Her owner said: “My mother recently moved in with me and we always had cats when I was growing up, so I was thinking of adopting a cat as company for her while I'm at work.

"It’s as if Rose knew it was time to come home. I can’t stop looking at her and smiling. Our Rose is home."

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