We can't say it enough: Microchip your pets!
Big grey tabby cat missing for 10 years is reunited with his owners
Credit: fengmolong / Getty

It's hard not to get sentimental about a good "pet returned after long absence" story, and the Dorset Echo treated us to another doozy this week.

The story in question concerns Chubbs the cat, missing from his home in Weymouth, Dorset, since 2012. According to the Echo, Chubbs had a well-earned reputation as an escape artist, disappearing from home two other times previous to his final departure. His third getaway looked to be permanent, as the weeks turned to months and then to years.

Chubbs's family never gave up, though, with mom Donna Gallacher regularly posting photos and updates to her Facebook page. And then, in May, someone found Chubbs.

"It was surreal when I got that phone call," Gallacher told the Echo. "I didn't think I was ever going to see him again. I've been searching for Chubbs for 10 years."

A hedgehog rescuer (a job title that doesn't get nearly enough examination in this story) found Chubbs in the small town of Ashton-in-Makerfield—some 260 miles away from home.

According to the BBC, the hedgehog rescuer (seriously, I'm checking Indeed right now for openings) saw Chubbs walking slowly and weaving through traffic. Rather than letting the poor boy get hit by a car, she corralled him and took him to a local veterinarian.

Chubbs was in rough shape. His fur was matted, he was having trouble walking, and the 15-year-old cat had no teeth. But! The veterinarian's office found his microchip. Scanning that chip allowed the office to contact Gallacher and let her know her lost boy had been found.

"I didn't know anything until I got this email from the vets and when I saw Chubbs' name my heart skipped a beat," Gallacher told BBC.

Gallacher said that since he's come home, Chubbs's condition has slowly improved. He's gaining weight and seems to be moving around better. He even remembers his name and comes running when she calls for him.

We'll never know exactly what happened to Chubbs in the 10 years he spent missing, but we have a pretty good idea of what happens from here.

"He's happy now and I'm going to let him live out his older years," Gallacher told BBC. "Until then he's going to be a very spoilt old man."