Lost cat reunited with St Albans owner three years after disappearance

Raghoo went missing three years ago. Picture: John Armstrong

Raghoo went missing three years ago. Picture: John Armstrong - Credit: Archant

A stunned businessman has received an early Christmas present after being reunited with his lost cat more than three years after she disappeared.

When black kitty Raghoo went missing in 2014 her owner, John Armstrong made a desperate bid to find her through appeals, social media posts, posters, and search parties.

He said: “Weeks turned to months and we slowly lost hope. We didn’t think we would ever see her again and we got on with our lives.”

The family also have two other cats and a miniature pinscher dog called Louis, who used to sleep in the same bed with Raghoo and was her best friend.

Then on Saturday John received a call from a vets in Hemel Hempstead - Raghoo had been picked up in Chipperfield and identified through microchip.

John, 55, said: “I couldn’t take it in and I think I said ‘you have made a mistake, we live in St Albans’. I thought ‘Gosh, I don’t believe it’, I am welling up as I talk because it’s so emotional.

“When I collected her she knew who I was and she wouldn’t leave me. It’s as if she has never been away, she snapped back into things. The dog is thrilled to bits that she’s back.”

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As five-year-old Raghoo looks well-fed John believes she has lived with a different family: “She’s clearly been taken in because she’s looking really good and if anything she has put on a bit of weight.

“I have mixed feelings about it, whilst they have clearly given her a good home - because she’s just a gorgeous, affectionate little cat - the heartache we have been through not knowing what happened has been difficult.

“People have to think that she had a family and a home and we suffered a great deal when she was missing. Whoever took her in is going to be devastated but legally speaking she is our cat.”

He said Raghoo is unique with velvet fur: “She’s a gorgeous and absolutely stunning cat with a personality to go with it. She is very friendly and very adventurous and that might have been part of the problem.”

They have been advised to keep Raghoo inside for a month, but she is an outdoor “little monkey” who keeps trying to escape: “Trying to keep her in will be nigh impossible.”

John, who owns a small cleaning business, said the story shows the importance of microchipping: “The key message is if you are going to go down the route of investing in a pet then please get it microchipped.”