Swizzle set for joyful Christmas reunion
When Jon and Naomi Smyth's cat, Swizzle, disappeared in March 2013 they feared they would never see him again.
By the time they left Bermuda at the beginning of this year they had come to terms with the fact that the little kitten they had bottle fed from three weeks old had gone for good.
But now thanks to a remarkable stroke of luck Swizzle is about to rejoin his happy owners in the UK after he turned up at the airport.
The tabby cat was found last month by a Bermuda Feline Assistance Bureau (BFAB) cat feeder who was able to trace him through the microchip that the Smyths had fitted.
BFAB is now helping the couple arrange the cat's $1,000 travel arrangements to join Jon and Naomi in Derbyshire.
“We adopted him from the SPCA when he was only three weeks old.” Mr Smyth said. “He was pretty tiny and needed bottle feeding, and we got quite attached to him.
“For nine months he was part of the family.
“He was a very friendly, yet an extremely mischievous little cat.
“He'd already been stuck up a massive cedar tree, locked in a garage, and caused a fair amount of damage to our flat when on one windy night in March 2013 he went out and didn't come back.
“We just assumed he'd got himself locked in somewhere again and he'd soon come trotting back wanting his dinner. But unfortunately, that was the last we saw of him.”
Mr Smyth, who worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist at Dame Marjorie Bean Special School while in Bermuda, added: “We were both pretty gutted as for nine months he was part the family. Things got much quieter and less fun after he disappeared.
“People were really kind and helped out with lots of sightings, but as there are so many feral cats on the island, many of them tabby, it was a bit like trying to find a needle in a haystack.”
When Swizzle initially went missing he was also featured on the Facebook page “Bermuda Lost and Found Pets”.
But he was not found until last month when BFAB spotted him living wild at the airport.
Mr Smyth said: “A few weeks ago we had an e-mail from Julia at BFAB, who had been trying to reach us.
“We didn't really think much of it after all the nearly's and maybe's, but when she told us the microchip number was the same we sat up and started to get excited.
“Swizzle has been checked out and has been lording it up at the vets for the last couple of weeks.
“We're now arranging to have him flown to the UK to join us in our new home in Derbyshire.
“Everyone involved from when he went missing to when he turned up has been so helpful; friends, neighbours and strangers alike, and we'd like to say a massive thanks.
“We're both really excited about having him home, and it wouldn't have been possible without the kindness of the people of Bermuda.
“Fingers crossed, he's due to fly on December 12 just in time for Christmas.”
Libby Cook-Toppan, who runs Bermuda's Lost and Found Pets, added: “I am absolutely thrilled that this story has a happy ending and that this cat will be reunited with its owners for Christmas.”