Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Cat’s got his heart at reunion

Citizen Staff Writer



Ken Gold said his 2 1/2-year-old calico RV would get tuna for dinner instead of cat chow after their reunion at Tucson International Airport on Thursday.

RV was picked up as a stray by animal control officers in King County, Wash., a couple of weeks ago and she and Gold were reunited by microchip technology.

Gold, who moved to Tucson from the Seattle area nine months ago, had a microchip implanted in the cat for about $90 so that if she went missing, he could find her.

As he was packing for Tucson, Gold said, the cat clawed her way out a nylon cat carrier and hadn’t returned home by the time he had to depart for the Southwest.

He remembered, however, to update his contact information with Animal Health’s HomeAgain service, which costs about $15 a year.

For months he heard nothing about RV but hoped he would see her again.

Schering-Plough Animal Health, which markets the chip and the safe return program, says on its Web site that the microchip has been implanted in 5.2 million animals in the United States.

Nearly 450,000 missing pets have been reunited with their owners because of the chip, it says.

RV is more than a statistic to Gold, a retired sculptor on disability, who lives alone.

As the months passed, he didn’t give up hope that he would be reunited with RV.

But lonesome for her company, he got a Boxer puppy he named Mia.

“I’m gonna treat myself,” he said he told himself when he got Mia.

Mia is 8 months old now and was raised around cats, Gold said. He’s sure Mia and RV will get along.

RV is an outdoor cat – she was never declawed – and roams during the day, Gold said.

He doesn’t believe in declawing and it likely kept her alive because she could catch prey to feed herself.

“She’s a good mouser,” he said.

Gold was notified about two weeks ago by King County Animal Care and Control staff that RV was alive and looked well.

He couldn’t afford to fly her to Tucson but he did pay $41 for a health certificate so RV could board a plane.

On Thursday, she flew to Tucson from Seattle on US Airways with Marilyn Christiansen, a veterinarian for King County.

She was an unofficial escort.

Christiansen was flying to Tucson anyway, to visit her son James.

The escort duty was a surprise, she said.

Just two days ago she was told by co-workers at Animal Control, “Have we got a deal for you.”

During the flight, RV lay in a blue nylon cat carrier, with a baby blanket and a cat toy, under a passenger seat.

A passenger on the flight, who didn’t want his name in the newspaper, said RV “is a talkative cat.”

After landing in Tucson and handing over the cat to a happy Gold, the veterinarian said RV “is very healthy. She’s a delightful cat.”

Gold said he’s had some serious health problems, however. “Technically, I died a couple of times,” he said. “You know, I wake up every morning and I say, thank you for another day.”

Cat and owner reunited after nine-month, 1,200-mile separation

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