HOW she survived on the streets remains a mystery but Sam the cat – who was missing for more than a month after being let out of a Belmont vet during a botched robbery – has been reunited with her family.
The 14-year-old short-haired cat was among a handful of cats set loose after a break-in at the Belmont Avenue Veterinary Hospital on December 15.
Most were recovered relatively quickly but the search for Sam lasted 34 days before she was found on Friday – not far from where she disappeared.
“When our neighbour walked through the reception doors with Sam in his arms I was in disbelief, and obviously overwhelmed with relief,” vet nurse Alana Starcevich said.
“We spread the word immediately, the owners first, then the rest of the staff and then lovely local woman Carole Doig who put in countless man hours searching for Sam.”
Police followed up the break-in but because nothing was stolen and the cats were missing, not stolen, the cat-hunt relied on community action.
Ms Doig said it was a happy reunion when Sam went home to Subiaco with her owners that night.
She was thrilled the intense, sustained search had provided an ultimately happy ending.
“For an elderly cat, it’s a mystery on the odds of her surviving for five weeks,” she said.
“I went out every morning and every night for five weeks.
“All my searching started at the vet and ended at the vet, I left food there most nights.
“Thank you to the Belmont and Cloverdale community for sharing on social media and reporting sightings.”
Ms Starcevich said everyone had worried for Sam due to her age and hot weather.
“The entire staff was incredibly invested in finding Sammy, we put in many hours of door knocking, flyer distribution, scouring lost pet sites for any signs of her, following up on leads from the public,” she said.
Of the five boarding cats set loose after the break-in last month, two were initially reported missing.
The two missing felines were microchipped black and white domestic short-haired cats, a four-year-old male Jake and a 14-year-old female, Sam.
Jake was quickly found at his owner’s house where his microchip opened the cat door.