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UC Davis Veterinary Employee Reunited with Cat Missing for Three Years

December 4, 2014

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Sissy was returned to her owner after being missing three years, thanks to a microchip implanted in her.

When Tami Driver—an animal technician at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital—received a phone call recently from someone who had her lost cat, she was a bit stunned. Not because she wasn’t aware the cat was missing, but because the cat had been missing for almost three years.

“We didn’t think we’d ever see Sissy again,” said Driver. “We looked for months, but eventually had to accept that she wasn’t coming back.”

Driver had owned Sissy since the cat was a newborn. Working in veterinary medicine, she sees a lot of animals up for adoption. She decided to adopt Sissy six years ago when a colleague brought a litter of kittens to work. Shortly after adoption, Driver had Sissy spayed at UC Davis. At that appointment, the veterinarians also suggested microchipping the cat. Little did Driver know at the time, but that suggestion would play an important role in her life with Sissy.

When the Driver family started to add more four-legged members to their home in Woodland, Sissy preferred being more of an outside cat. In March 2012, though, Sissy went missing. The family searched everywhere, but she was nowhere to be found. Two months later, the Drivers moved from that neighborhood to a new house in Woodland.

“I would continue to go back to the old neighborhood to look for her,” Driver said. “I thought if she’s still around, it’s going to be near the old house.”

Fast forward to November 2014. Sure enough, Sissy was in the old neighborhood. The Good Samaritans who found her were within a mile of the old house. They thought she seemed too healthy and loving to be a feral cat. They posted Sissy’s picture on Facebook, and took her to a veterinarian, who discovered the microchip.

Since Driver had not completed registration of the microchip, some clever sleuthing by the vet discovered that the chip was implanted at UC Davis. A few more inquiries turned up a phone number that belonged to Driver. Later that day, she was reunited with Sissy.

Sissy seemed to immediately recognize Driver when she arrived to retrieve her long lost cat, and cuddled up to her right away. Driver took Sissy to work where the cat was examined by Dr. Karl Jandrey of the hospital’s Emergency Service, where most of Driver’s duties are focused. Dr. Jandrey gave Sissy a rabies vaccination and some tapeworm medication, but otherwise declared her in good health.

Driver is slowly re-introducing Sissy to the other pets in the house, and is still shocked the cat was returned to her. 

About the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
The William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California, Davis—a unit of the School of Veterinary Medicine—provides state-of-the-art clinical care while serving as the primary clinical teaching experience for DVM students and post graduate veterinarian residents. The VMTH treats more than 47,000 animals a year, ranging from cats and dogs to horses, cows and exotic species. To learn more about the VMTH, please go to Timely news updates can be received on its Facebook ( and Twitter ( pages.

Rob Warren
VMTH Communications & Marketing Officer