Perry Martin and his tabby Thomas Jr were reunited after having been separated for 14 years
A Florida cat was reunited with its owner, 14 years after Hurricane Jeanne tore them apart.
Retired K9 officer, Perry Martin, lost his orange tabby – Thomas Jr., or T2 for short – during the carnage of 2004’s Hurricane Jeanne.
‘They said, “Perry what would you do if we told you that T2 was alive?” And I said, ‘I’d probably tell you you’re crazy because he died a long long time ago!,'” Martin explained to WPTV.
Two weeks ago, the then-stray tabby made its way to the Humane Society of Treasure Coast.
‘He was just found on the street, he was brought in,’ volunteer Sarah Fisher. ‘He had fleas, he was skinny.’
The Humane Society found that T2 had a microchip, however, and were able to determine that he had been separated from his owner for more than a decade.
T2 joined the Martin’s Fort Pierce, Florida, household back in 2002 and quickly was taken to get micro-chipped.
Thomas Jr, or T2 for short, went missing from his home in Stuart, Florida, following the carnage of Hurricane Jeanne in 2004. He had been micro-chipped
The cat stayed with the family for a few years before escaping in 2004 during the aftermath of the deadly storm.
‘People didn’t have air conditioning, so as time went on people left their windows and screens open,’ Martin added. ‘I was staying in Stuart at the time and he slipped out.’
Fearing the worst, Martin assumed T2 had been hit by a car.
He said: ‘I filed a report with the Humane Society, in case animal control picked him up. He had a microchip and I thought someone would just call me if they found him.’
But Martin soon was giving up hope.
“My vet even listed him as deceased,’ he added.
Martin (pictured with family) couldn’t believe it when the Humane Society called him and told him that the cat was still alive
So when their reunion finally took place, Martin knew that the cat he was looking at was definitely his.
‘As soon as I looked at that face, I knew exactly who he was. A little bit older, kind of like me!’ he said. ‘I’m convinced he had to have had somebody bring him into their house. He must have been part of somebody’s family and maybe he got out. I just can’t see him living wild in the area I figured he would be.’
For the Humane Society stresses the importance of getting pets micro-chipped and add that both local shelters and veterinarians provide the service.
‘The national average for cats that get reunited with their owners — is only two percent. The majority of them, they don’t get microchipped. For dogs, it’s 20 percent,’ Fisher added.
As hurricane season slowly approaches, Martin hopes that his story will inspire others to go on and get chips for their pets.
Now a service dog trainer, Martin has added a golden retriever named Sassy to the mix. He says the two animals get along and that the dog is gentle with the old cat
Just update your information, your alternate information and your vet’s information. They’ll scan them and hopefully you’ll get your pet back. You never know, he said.
His now 18-year-old tabby is showing his age but does eat well.
‘Since he got home, he’s eating, he’s drinking, he’s moving around,’ said T2’s happy owner.
Now a service dog trainer, Martin has added a golden retriever named Sassy to the mix. He says the two animals get along and that the dog is gentle with the old cat.
‘He had an opportunity to come home, spend time with his family and be on a good note when he passes,’ said Martin. ‘Until that day, he’ll be spoiled like he was before he left.’