Wednesday, 22. May 2013 - 16:05
11. 04. 12. - 10:00
A cat napping row has been settled in Germany after legal experts ruled that a cat lost 16 years ago was the property of its new owners – and not the original owner.
Tomcat Poldi, 17, was originally owned by Monika Moser who had him for a year and had even tattooed her details on the pet in case he got lost.
But after a year he vanished – and turned up 20 miles away in the garden of another family who fed him and then took him into the local vets. But the vet had failed to unravel the mystery of the tattoo - and because the cat had no owner it was officially adopted by its new family.
But 16 years later he vanished again – and this time turned up another 15 miles away on a woodpile in the backyard of the home of Kilian Schöttl, 19. He took him to an animal sanctuary in Munich where manager Eveline Kosenbach was able to track the original owner.
They were contacted who was amazed to find Poldi still alive after so much time.
But the media attention around the pet also allowed the second owner who described as a much loved member of the family to identify their pet – and they also requested the animal home send their cat back.
The second family who live in Glonn said they had named their pet Burli. Hans Schmid said: "We found him in 1996 and he's lived with us for 16 years. Two weeks ago he suddenly vanished and we have no idea how he ended up 15 miles away. We are just glad he's back home. My 85-year-old mother in particular had missed him as well as my wife and kids."
The original owner – now a successful businesswoman – has been allowed visiting rights and is set to visit them shortly for the first visit in 16 years.
Lawyer Rudolf Brettmeister to clarify the legal situation said: "Lack of information about ownership means that the pet can be classed as owner less. That means that the new finder can claim the cat without coming into any conflict with the law."
Animal sanctuary manager Eveline Kosenbach said: "He heard a report about the cat on the radio. He drove her straight away and as soon as the pair met it was obvious that the story was true. The cat has sat here still without particularly moving much since it was bought in – but as soon as it saw its old owner it started to run around and meow. It was clear they knew each other. When he picked the cat up he had tears in his eyes and the cat started purring.
The original owner has now been contacted by animal shelter officials and told the decision which she accepted with regret. And she has been offered a chance to visit the pet in his new home.
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