Before they got married and had children, Jason and Liz McKenley say a cat named Ritz was their baby. The couple in Annapolis, Maryland regarded Ritz as a member of the family. Until 2006 when Ritz jumped out of the apartment door, went down the stairs and never came back.
“We looked around for months and talked to the shelter,” Jason McKenley told CBS News. “We tried whatever we could think of.”
Liz McKenley said they never gave up looking for him. In fact, she still keeps a poster of his lost pet on her own computer.
“If I removed it, it never happened, and he felt he would be forgotten, and I couldn’t do that,” she told CBS News.
And her fragment of hope remained, one after another, and one after another throughout the decade. 16 years have passed. Then, a few weeks ago, a woman feeding Ritz at a trailer park six miles from Liz and Jason McKenley’s old apartment noticed that he had a serious leg injury. The gray cat had a terrible shape, so she took her to the vet’s clinic and killed her. But before doing so (similar to the standard procedure), the vet scanned the cat’s microchip.
Jason McKenry received an automatic text: CatRitz was found.
“I thought,’Well, that’s a mistake,’ that is, I think they recycled the microchip numbers,” he said. “And she was upstairs and heard me, and she went,’What did you just say ?!’
“He’s been away for 16 years, I didn’t think this was possible,” said Liz McKenley.
Ritz is currently the record holder. Pets have long been lost due to microchips and have never been reunited.
Despite the two hip legs, Ritz is under repair. He already has his favorite chair and enjoys the attention of his brother and sister he didn’t know about.
Ritz has a very sweet attitude. That is, she may have been a domestic cat at some point after she ran away, but I don’t know. All we know for sure is that Ritz has been lost for 16 years, but there was never hope.