Cat returns home to Newtown after a year

HOME AGAIN: Keijahan Ranginui is reunited with Puppy the cat.
HOME AGAIN: Keijahan Ranginui is reunited with Puppy the cat.

A loved cat has returned home after having been missing for a year.

Newtown mother Julieanna Ranginui and daughter Keijahan, 12, had given up hope of finding 3-year-old Puppy again after it went missing at the start of last year.

Extensive searches of the Wellington suburb and the internet failed to locate Puppy.

That was until yesterday when the SPCA responded to a call about a stray cat in Coromandel St, Newtown and – through Puppy's microchip – located its owners within hours.

Puppy was now settling in back home and appeared to have been well looked after during his year away.

The SPCA also received a call on Monday night of "screaming" from a kitten in a drainpipe near a building site in Porirua.

SPCA spokesman James Craw said an inspector and vet nurse found the kitten over 1.5 metres down the drain, after it had apparently slipped through the grille in heavy rain.

They pulled it out using a "cat grabber" device but found the 5-week-old kitten hypothermic and unmoving, with open eyes "staring at nothing".

"They thought it was dead, but it started to come to very slowly. If they came to it minutes later, it wouldn't have made it."

By yesterday it was making a good recovery and had been named Harpic. The rest of the litter was found nearby.

Harpic was being fostered by the vet nurse who helped save it.