Cat Goes Missing for 7 Years, Turns Out to Be Living at a Factory 900 Feet Away

Cat Goes Missing for 7 Years, Turns Out to Be Living at a Factory 900 Feet Away

A UK woman’s missing cat appears to have done the most cat thing imaginable—spending years on his own just 900 feet away from home. The missing Bengal cat, named Duke, was discovered by a veterinarian seven years after he went missing. And though his original owner felt unable to take care of the cat currently, Duke has since been adopted by a new owner.

The not-so-homeward-bound tale was first reported by British outlet SWNS this week. According to SWNS, Corby resident Stephanie Barstow bought 6-week-old Duke and his brother Nero in May 2015. In January 2017, soon after a fight with Nero and the birth of Barstow’s child, Duke vanished. Barstow feared the worst, having heard reports of cat-killing foxes in the area. Despite exhaustive searching with the help of friends and family, she failed to find any traces of Duke. And after eight months, she stopped looking for him, though she maintained hope that he was out there somewhere.

Nearly seven years later, on December 21, 2023, Barstow’s hopes were surprisingly validated. That day, a veterinarian knocked on her door and asked if she had ever owned a cat named Duke. Duke had been microchipped, but the number on file no longer worked. Fortunately, the vet remembered Duke’s facial markings and white paws and recalled that Barstow had been looking for a cat with that description, so she decided to verify his identity in-person—a meeting that was caught on Barstow’s Ring doorbell camera.

“When I first opened the door, I thought it was a debt collector or someone like that because she asked me to confirm my name—I was panicking,” Barstow told SWNS. “But she was a vet.”

According to the vet, Duke had been living for some time at a factory just 300 yards away from Barstow (about a city block in distance). He had become enough of a fixture there that local staff had built him a tiny shed to sleep in and set up a feeding station. Sadly, he was brought to the vet when the factory was no longer considered a safe place for Duke to stay.

Following Duke’s disappearance, Barstow had adopted a dog and had another child. She felt that she was no longer able to provide Duke the best home possible, and she was also worried that Duke might escape again and return to the factory if given the chance. But Duke’s journey has a happy ending: He was adopted by someone else and appears to be doing great, according to Barstow, who paid him and his new owner a recent visit.

“She had just had her house renovated and it’s got so much open space and is quiet—it was perfect,” she said. “It was a very difficult decision but I think it was the best one for Duke.”

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

It’s the most popular NBN speed in Australia for a reason. Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Gizmodo, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.