Many things can set off an alarm at a warehouse facility. A chubby, wayward cat is not usually the first thing that comes to mind. But when that warehouse is filled with pet food, you never know who it might attract.
In October 2014, Clive, a 9-month-old male Norwegian Forest Cat, disappeared from his home in Toton, Nottinghamshire, UK.
When Clive first went missing, his owner Tanya Irons searched for him and reached out for help, but with no luck. After a while, she assumed he had been taken in by a new owner. “He liked to go outside a lot, but we think somebody must have been feeding him, he’s such a lovely cat,” she told the BBC.
It’s not clear where Clive had been for over a year, but what’s certain is where he’s been for the past several weeks: Earlier this month, alarms started going off repeatedly during the night at the Kennelgate Pet Superstores warehouse. The pet food facility is about two miles away from Clive’s home.
“The warehouse operations director was getting alarm calls because there was something active in the warehouse at night — it was setting the alarms off,” said Colin Lewis, Kennelgate’s retail operations director. “We eventually found it was a cat — we just couldn’t catch it.”
The warehouse staff tried to catch Clive for a week, but he was able to elude them. Using a cat trap borrowed from a local cat rescue organization, the employees managed to apprehend Clive. He was taken to a local veterinarian for a microchip scan, which led to his reunion with the Irons family.
“It’s a mystery as to where he has been over the past 14 months but we think he couldn’t of ended up in a better place what with all the free pet food he could dream of, not forgetting the odd warehouse mouse!” the Kennelgate team posted on its website.
After being apart for more than a year, it was immediately obvious to Lyons that her clever cat had selected the perfect place to hide out all those months: On first seeing Clive — who had doubled his weight during his adventure — she exclaimed: “He’s a porker.”
Perhaps not wanting to hurt Clive’s feline feelings, she added: “It’s amazing, he’s so big and fluffy because it’s winter.”
Tops on the agenda when he gets home? A bath. At the reunion, the folks at Kennelgate warned Lyons that Clive “smelled a bit.”
“It’s great to see…I’m happy they’re back together again,” Lewis said after Lyons took Clive home. “It’s been a strange day at the office.”
A happy ending for all, but the question remains: Was Clive truly lost in the warehouse facility… or is he the world’s smartest cat?
Click here to view a video of Clive’s reunion with his family, courtesy of the BBC.