20-year-old cat reunited with family after nearly 3 months away from home

BROOKFIELD -- Christopher, a 20-year-old cat diagnosed with an enlarged heart and Laryngeal Paralysis, has been reunited with his owners after nearly three months away from home.

Christopher was brought in to the Elmbrook Humane Society on October 25th. Through his microchip, Humane Society officials discovered that his owner’s contact information was not up to date.

The Elmbrook Humane Society (EBHS) shared Christopher’s photo on the “lost and found” page of its website while caring for him during the state of Wisconsin’s stray hold period.

During Christopher’s stay, his loud purr soon became a wheezing noise that continued to worsen, according to the Elmbrook Humane Society.

A trip to the vet for some X-rays led to a diagnosis of laryngeal paralysis, a disease that is rare in cats. He also had an enlarged heart, something he has been able to regulate on his own. While surgery to address the laryngeal paralysis was an option, it was deemed too risky and EBHS got to work finding a home for Christopher.

On December 19th, the Elmbrook Humane Society received a call from an individual who believed Christopher may be their cat. After a visit to see him, it was confirmed that this was their cat of almost 20 years.

According to a news release, Christopher had gotten loose and his family thought he would come home. When he did not, they began to search for him on local Humane Society websites but did not find him. They did not think of looking at animals available for adoption, which is where EBHS’s computer software placed him.

Feeling they never would find Christopher, the family began to look for a cat to adopt. During this process, they found Christopher.

“If you lose your pet, it is so incredibly important to report it with local humane societies and other organizations, such as Lost Cats of Wisconsin and Lost Dogs of Wisconsin,” said Heather Gehrke, executive director of Elmbrook Humane Society.