Brianne Ulmer never thought she would see her beloved family cat again.
But, thanks to social media and the Okanagan Humane Society, Mango is back home where he belongs.
The ginger tabby disappeared 10 months ago, and Ulmer had all but given up hope of ever seeing the feline again.
Mango disappeared in March 2021 and wasn't located until Jan. 20 this year.
Ulmer is not sure where Mango was all that time, but suspects he was fending for himself.
“He was quite malnourished and skinny,” says Ulmer, adding a woman had been feeding Mango for about a week before he was picked up by the humane society.
“But, for the most part, he was on his own.”
Home for Mango was on Okanagan Landing Road, so the feline survived predators and a cold snap that saw temperatures dip into the -20 C range.
Ulmer was on the Vernon Lost Pets Facebook page to see if she could help others find their lost pets, while keeping a hopeful eye out for her own lost pet.
“I saw a picture of him, called my husband and said 'This is Mango.' He said, that could be any orange tabby, but when I called the next day, we verified that it was him.”
Mango was found an eight-minute drive from where he called home, and Ulmer admits she was surprised to see his picture.
Romany Runnalls, with the OHS, said finding Mango's human family was a challenge because the tattoo on his ear was faded.
Tattoos are done by veterinarians to help identify pets, but they fade over time and Runnalls recommends a microchip as a better way of providing information on a lost pet.
“The vet can insert a microchip during a regular visit,” she said.
People can submit information on a suspected stray to the OHS, who will take the animal into their care, have it checked by a vet and begin the process of finding its owner.
The OHS was contacted by Ulmer the day after Mango's picture was posted.
Runnalls also recommends people keep cats inside at night, when predators are most active.
For more information on the humane society, visit its website.