Teamwork returns cat missing for five years to its Sarasota owners

Posted at 10:48 AM, Sep 16, 2016

You probably have heard a cat has nine lives. Nicky is a living example. 

Five years after the feline went missing, it was reunited this week with its owners in Sarasota.

Thanks to a Good Samaritan, the Cat Depot's Rose Durham Cat Care Clinic staff and Sarasota County Animal Services, Nicky's family is thrilled to have him back.

But before he can go home, Nicky has to recover from some serious medical ailments tended to by staffers at the Rose Durham Clinic.  

When Nicky arrived at the cat care clinic Monday, he was severely emaciated and following an examination it was determined he also was suffering from kidney failure. 

It took an Inspector Gadget-style investigation by Rose Durham Clinic staffers to unravel Nicky's five-year odyssey.

It began with the Good Samaritan, who also was a client at the Rose Durham Cat Care Clinic. Over the course of two months, she saw Nicky sitting under a tree in her neighborhood. She watched as he appeared to look more sickly, prompting her to bring him into her home.

She realized the cat needed more care than she could provide and took him to the Rose Durham Clinic for treatment. 

Clinic staffers located the microchip Nicky's owners had placed in him after Nicky contracted Feline Immunodeficiency Virus at a young age, according to a statement from the Rose Durham Clinic. The microchip assisted in updating his medical records and to track him. 

They also contacted Sarasota County Animal Services to help them track down Nicky's owners. During their search, clinic staffers discovered Nicky had been found before and renamed Saxton. 

It's unclear if he ran away or was released from his second home.

Nicky was reunited with his family at the Cat Depot Thursday. 

"After seeing how hard he fought to survive, we could not give up on him," Cat Depot's Clinic veterinarian Eva Ojolick said. "His condition has improved since being brought to us on Monday, however, he is not out of the woods yet."

Nicky remains in critical condition. The veterinary staff will reassess Nicky's condition this weekend, according to the clinic statement.