Winky the one-eyed cat found after 10 years missing

From RNZ

Ten years after he disappeared without trace, a beloved pet is set to be reunited with his owners.

Winky, a one-eyed but very sociable moggy, wandered off in 2012 from his family’s apartment at Auckland’s Viaduct.

And his owner Karyn Robson, who has since relocated to Christchurch, feared that was it, she’d never see Winky again.

That was until one day last week, when she was taking a nap and her daughter answered a very unexpected phone call.

“They had tried to call me and of course my phone was on silent, so they ended up contacting my partner who was at work,” Robson said.

“He was listed as a second contact but he had actually never known Winky and so he ended up calling my daughter.

“So my daughter came running in to me and she was bawling her eyes out and she was like ‘wake up, wake up’ and I couldn’t make out anything she was saying, all I could catch was something about our cat alive.”

After calming down a bit, her daughter informed her that their long-lost pet was alive and had been found by the SPCA.

“I checked my phone and saw that the SPCA had called, so I quickly called them back and they just said ‘did you used to own a cat with one eye’ and I said yes and they said he’s just been brought in this afternoon to us,” she said.

When Winky went missing in 2012, the America’s Cup had been happening in the Viaduct and due to his sociable nature, Robson worried that he might have been hurt by drunk people in the area.

“We thought maybe he was thrown in the water or I liked to think he actually hopped in a yacht and sailed to Fiji and was just enjoying life in the islands somewhere.”

But as it turned out, Winky had ended up in Mt Roskill – a fair distance from the Viaduct – where he was fed for 10 years by a person who assumed he was a stray.

It wasn’t until he was seen being attacked by a dog and some other people intervened and took him to the SPCA that his microchip was finally scanned.

“He’s in a stable condition, they said he’s really happy and alert and very smoochy and that he’s eating and drinking and toileting okay,” Robson said.

“They don’t know whether it’s from the dog attack or whether over the years he’s grown an abdominal hernia and so he needs surgery for that. If he doesn’t get the operation he eventually won’t survive.”

Winky was also diagnosed with a stage four heart murmur, which could make the surgery more risky, but the SPCA told Robson he should be okay.

Unfortunately, it’s due to these health issues that Winky and his family can’t be reunited just yet – as he’s not well enough to be flown down to Christchurch.

“It’s been a nightmare really as we’re so desperate to see him, but now we’ve found out that we can’t actually bring him home in the near future because he’s too unwell,” she said.

For now, Robson is frantically trying to find someone who can look after Winky until he’s better enough to fly back to his family.

A Givealittle page has been set up to assist with Winky’s care until he can be reunited with his family.

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