Julie and Ken Welke pet their long-lost cat as Birch Bay resident Tim Archer looks on. Archer brought the feline to Northwest Veterinary Clinic for an exam, hoping to adopt it, but instead the staff found a microchip identifying the Welkes, of Mill Creek, as the owners. Photo by Carissa Wright.
Ken Welke was in line at a hardware store when he got a call from a Birch Bay veterinary office that made his day.
Amanda Carson, from the Northwest Veterinary Clinic in Birch Bay Square, asked if he was missing a kitty. He and his wife Julie were indeed missing their cat, Kit, but the animal had been gone for more than a year.
On Thursday morning, the family was reunited.
“It was an awesome call,” Ken said as he waited for his cat and the man who had found it. “I thought it was a prank at first.”
Birch Bay resident Tim Archer had found the stray and hoped to adopt it, so he brought it in to the vet for a full checkup.
Veterinarian Kim Johner scanned for a microchip, though microchips in cats are uncommon. When one was found, the staff ran it against a national database and came up with the Welkes, who live in Mill Creek.
The reunion was emotional on both sides – bittersweet for Archer, a cat lover who hoped to make the feline (which he’d christened Tommy) part of his family, and full of joy for the Welkes.
“I just knew in my heart he wasn’t dead,” Julie said as she nuzzled Kit’s neck.
Microchipping a pet is an inexpensive, one-time procedure that can pay huge dividends in the event a beloved pet is lost, Johner said. Even placid indoor pets – like Kit had been – sometimes take off running when you least expect it.
Though Ken and Julie aren’t sure what Kit was up to during his adventure, the microchip ensured a happy ending to the story. And they couldn’t be more thankful.