A missing cat miraculously defied the odds and reunited with its owner after being found over 16 km (ten mi) away from her home in Ireland.
Paco is a four-year-old deaf cat that went missing from her home in north Louth, Ireland, over a month ago.
Her owners feared the worst, but thankfully, she was discovered alive and well on a farm 16 km (ten miles) away in the townland known as Corrakit in Omeath, which ironically takes its name from the Irish for ‘the place of cat’.
Paco – a loyal companion
When Paco went missing, not only was his owner naturally worried, as any owner would be, but in Paco’s case, there was extra worry: Paco happens to be a deaf cat.
The fact that Paco was deaf caused a lot of concern as there were fears that she would be unaware of any threats, such as oncoming traffic or other animals, when missing from home.
“As a deaf cat, she’d have absolutely no chance of surviving on her own. She can’t hear traffic, so wouldn’t survive on the road and is no good at hunting,” her owner, Clodagh Malone, explained.
Clodagh also offered a theory on how she believed Paco came to be missing: “Because she’s deaf, she loves visual stimulation and comes with me for spins in our van, so when she saw the [visiting] repairman’s white van, she obviously thought it was spin time”.
Clodagh Malone – Paco’s owner
Following Paco’s disappearance, Clodagh and her son Eoin sprang into action to find Paco. They attempted to spread as much information as possible about the missing cat by posting posters around the local area and on social media.
Luckily, Clodagh had at least one solid clue to go on as she explained, “The repairman was able to tell us where he’d been after our house, so we suspected that she’d made her way to Carlingford or Omeath.
“I went to Portadown to check out a black cat that had been found, but it wasn’t Paco, although I was able to get it back to its owner”.
After a nervous few weeks, on Sunday evening, Clodagh and Eoin got the news that they had been dreaming of – that Paco was found alive and well in the near Louth town of Omeath.
Omeath woman Patrice O’Hagan was out walking when she spotted one of the many posters for Paco and realised that this was the very same cat that her father-in-law Charlie O’Hagan had been taking care of recently.
The positive power of people – ensuring that Paco was returned home
Clodagh and Eoin were very grateful to Charlie for looking after Paco so well, and once they got Paco home, they made sure to purchase a new collar and tracker device in case Paco was ever to go on an adventure again.
Reflecting on how she first met Paco, Clodagh said, “I think she must have gone through at least 18 lives by now. I was blowing leaves at Halloween, and she came right up to the leaf blower, so I knew she was deaf, as cats are usually scared of it.
“We’re delighted that so many people shared our Facebook posts and answered my plea to find Paco”.