A stray cat which was taken into an RSPCA centre has been reunited with her owner after a year of being missing – following a social media appeal to find her owner which led to an offer of help from the Swedish government!

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Cookie went missing from her home in Westhouses, near Alfreton, Derbyshire, in August last year, devastating her owner Jessica Vestin, who had brought the cat over from her home in Sweden in 2015.

Jessica spent the next six months desperately trying to find Cookie, but sadly no trace of her was ever found.

Jessica had all but given up on finding Cookie when the cat was handed in to the RSPCA’s Chesterfield and North Derbyshire branch, on 18 September.

Cookie was microchipped, but the chip was Swedish and was not registered on the databases which RSPCA staff could access.

Rachel Gray, manager of the RSPCA Chesterfield and North Derbyshire branch, said: “We had a member of the public bring a stray cat into our centre after she was found in Chesterfield. The cat was microchipped but the chip turned out to be from Sweden.

“Despite extensive enquiries, we unfortunately weren’t able to trace the owner through the chip as it was unregistered. One of the UK chip database companies went as far as contacting the animal reception centres at Heathrow and Gatwick for us to see if the cat had come into the UK through either of them but hit a blank.

“We put the cat onto Facebook and Twitter and asked our community of supporters to help. The post was shared far and wide and we even had an offer of help via Twitter from the Swedish embassy!

“Thanks to the power of Facebook, the owner was found and she has reclaimed her cat, who we found out is called Cookie. Cookie came into the UK with the owner when she emigrated here in 2015.

“She was an indoor cat and accidentally escaped over a year ago. Her owner had been frantically looking for her but had reached the point where she’d lost hope and assumed that Cookie had sadly been killed.

“We are so pleased that Cookie has been reunited with her loving owner.”

Jessica, who now lives in Mansfield, said: “I was looking for Cookie for such a long a long time but we could not find her – I felt like giving up.

“Then one day, my boyfriend was on his break at work and he was looking on Facebook when he saw a photo of a cat which had been handed in to the RSPCA. He tagged me in it as he thought the cat looked like Cookie.

“I took one look at the photo and I was sure it was my Cookie. It said on the post that she had a Swedish microchip, and I thought to myself, there is no way there is another Swedish cat who looks like Cookie out there!

“I was so happy when I realised it was her. We are just so lucky that she was found.”

She has now returned home to Jessica. “When she first came home she didn’t act like Cookie and she seemed a bit scared of our other cat, Chilli, at first – but they’re now best friends again. It’s as though Cookie has never been away,” Jessica said.

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There is more information about microchipping available on the RSPCA’s website.