Cat and owner reunited thanks to microchip

Somehow, it seems much more logical that a dog might wander off.

Outside, enjoying the fresh air. Sniff, sniff.

Is that a squirrel?

Gone!

A cat, however, is much more coy. A squirrel you say? I’ll just sit here in the sun and check it out for a while, then decide what to do.

Unfortunately, such was not the luck for Alex Bismore, whose cat, Ginger, went missing for nearly five years.

Bismore was a senior at Everett High School when he went looking for a cat just before his 18th birthday.

He spotted a tiny calico kitten in the back corner of an animal shelter. “As soon as I saw the cat, I knew it was the cat I had to have,” Bismore said.

Bismore, who was living with his grandparents, decided to adopt a second cat named Tiger. As the weeks stretched into months, the two cats became like brother and sister, often playing outside together.

One day, Tiger came back inside. Ginger didn’t.

“We assumed she would come back the next day,” Bismore said. “The next day, we didn’t see anything, or the next day or the next.”

The house, in the Lowell neighborhood of Everett, has trees and a creek nearby.

He and his grandparents searched the neighborhood and checked local animal shelters but couldn’t find her. They feared the cat, about 3 months old, had been taken by a wild animal.

Ginger had a tiny microchip implanted in her body with identification information, so the Bismores still hoped to find her.

But four and a half years passed. “We assumed we would never see her again,” Bismore said.

On Feb. 8, there was a message on the house phone. Bismore’s grandmother, Gladys Bismore, returned the call and was asked: Did you have a cat?

“Well, not recently,” she responded.

It turned out the call was from a microchip monitoring company. When the chip was read with a special scanner, it provided a number that could be matched in a database with the Bismores’ name, address and phone number.

As best as can be pieced together, Ginger had somehow made her way to a home about three miles away, near the Colby Campus of Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. An elderly man living there was caring for several cats.

It’s unclear why anyone checked Ginger for a microchip.

There was one other thing that convinced the Bismores that the cat in question wasn’t just any calico but the real missing Ginger.

Ginger always had a little kink in her tail, “a quirky thing that’s pretty unmistakable,” Alex Bismore said. This cat did, too.

But they wondered if her loving personality had turned more feral during the years she went missing.

It didn’t take long to find out. As soon as she was brought home and bounced out of the carrier, she looked around her surroundings and then moved into a big cat stretch, back legs out, back rounded.

When Alex Bismore walked down the hall to his room, Ginger walked with him and stood expectantly at his door. When he momentarily left the room, there she was at his side.

“It was cute as can be,” Gladys Bismore said. “She’s been attached to him. She definitely remembered him.”

Alex Bismore, who is now 22, said that life is resuming with Ginger pretty much as before, with one exception.

“As far as I’m concerned, she’ll be an indoor cat,” he said. “I don’t want to lose her again.”

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; salyer@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Young woman missing from Mukilteo found safe

She called her parents and told them she was at a museum in Seattle.

Mom and brother turn in suspect in Stanwood robberies

The man is suspected of robbing the same gas station twice, and apologizing to the clerk afterward.

Derrick “Wiz” Crawford, 22, is a suspect in the homicide of his roommate. (Edmonds Police Department)
Roommate suspected in Edmonds killing found hiding in closet

Police had been searching for him for 10 days before locating him at a house in Everett.

Video shows man suspected of attacking a woman in Edmonds

The man allegedly threw her on the ground, then ran away after the she began kicking and screaming.

Navy to put filter in Coupeville’s contaminated water system

Chemicals from firefighting foam was found in the town’s drinking water.

Officials to test sanity of suspect in Everett crime spree

He allegedly tried to rob and clobber a transit worker, then fled and struggled with police.

Katharine Graham, then CEO and chairwoman of the board of The Washington Post Co., looks over a copy of The Daily Herald with Larry Hanson, then The Herald’s publisher, during her visit to Everett on Sept. 20, 1984. The Washington Post Co. owned The Herald from 1978 until 2013. (Herald archives)
Everett’s brush with Katharine Graham, leader of ‘The Post’

Retired Herald publisher Larry Hanson recalls The Washington Post publisher’s visits.

Former Monroe cop loses appeal on sex crimes conviction

Once a highly respected officer, he was found guilty of secretly videotaping his kids’ babysitter.

Families seek to change wrongful death law

A bill would allow or parents or siblings who wish to pursue a suit for an unmarried, childless adult.

Most Read