Beloved Angus reunited with owner after a year away from home

2018-05-10 16:00
Animal scientist Mariana Ciacciariello looks lovingly at her beloved Maine Coon cat, Angus, who went missing during a storm in May last year.

Animal scientist Mariana Ciacciariello looks lovingly at her beloved Maine Coon cat, Angus, who went missing during a storm in May last year. (Ian Carbutt )

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A Lincoln Meade resident was joyously reunited with her ginger Maine Coon cat, Angus, this week after he had been missing for exactly one year.

The cat disappeared during a “terrible storm” on May 4, 2017 and his owner’s desperate search for him proved fruitless.

Animal scientist Mariana Ciacciariello (45) bought Angus as a three-month-old kitten from a breeder in Durban in 2013 and said she knew right away that “he was the one” she was going to bring home. Ciacciariello said that Angus, named after the horse in the popular Disney movie Brave, was “easy-going” and “good with people” and soon they were inseparable.

She was devastated when he went missing during a massive storm.

“I think he became disorientated and could not find where home was,” said Ciacciariello. “I was so scared for him because he was a useless hunter and because of that, I thought he would not make it. I posted messages about him left, right and centre. The SPCA tried to help, as well as a few cat rescue organisations.

“We organised search crews with friends and one of them even searched the nearby veld using his motorbike.”

She said she was so desperate to find Angus, she even asked a friend with a hunting dog to help, hoping the dog would pick up the missing cat’s scent.

“It was unbelievable that a cat that size could just vanish like that,” she said.

She said that by December last year, she had started to lose hope of ever finding Angus.

“You have no idea what we had done to try and find him,” she said.

However, on Monday, Ciacciariello received a WhatsApp message from a friend telling her to look at a post on Facebook’s “Missing and Found Pets Pietermaritzburg” about a missing cat that looked very similar to Angus.

“I did not want to get my hopes up but I called the person who posted the information on Facebook and I was told Angus had been hanging around their property in Hayfields since September last year.

“He still had his collar on. They obviously realised this was not a homeless cat and not your standard cat.”

She said she met with the family, who posted a photo of Angus on Tuesday at around 5 pm. “I arrived and was told he was in the garden, lying under a bush, sleeping. I went to look and knew immediately that it was him.

“I called him, and he very cautiously came up to me and then I scooped him up and put him over my shoulder.

“He had always been my shoulder traveller, so when I placed him on my shoulder it was like coming home,” she said. “I am so grateful to have found him and that he is safe. We took him for a full veterinary check-up and he is completely healthy, he has not even lost that much weight.

“It is amazing to have him back. I still have to go look at him every now and then to make sure he is really here,” she said with a laugh.

Ciacciariello, who has five cats and three dogs, said Angus is still adjusting to the other cats as some of them came to the family after his disappearance.

She said he is still a bit skittish but she is “ecstatic” to have him back home as her “shoulder traveller” after a whole year of being a part.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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