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Global community of cat lovers rally on UnitedCats to reunite stray moggy

Staff (Social Media Portal) - 04 July 2008

In April 1996, French director Cédric Klapisch’s cult romcom The Cat’s Away saw a young woman’s search for her wayward pet break down social barriers to bring a whole neighbourhood together. 

Today the tables have been turned in more ways than one.  Reality upstaged fiction, and the online world left its physical counterpart behind, as the power of social media moved thousands to lend a hand in helping a London stray cat to reunite with her lost owners.

The cat was nicknamed Betsy by her current guardians Kitten to Cat, a London veterinary clinic specialising exclusively in feline care.  She was brought in last week by a concerned client, and was found to be malnourished after six months living on the streets.  Noting that she carried a microchip, and therefore must have a home to return to, the clinic posted videos of her on feline social networking website Unitedcats.

Betsy had the following to say, "I was living on the streets of Richmond, West London for at least 6 months. In June 2008 a kind lady who had been feeding me became concerned for my health and took me to the local cat vet.  Unfortunately no-one knew where I came from so I am currently living out the back of the vet. I have everything I need but I´d really love to be reunited with my family. If you recognize me please let them know, or if you know someone who lives in Richmond or once lived there please forward my picture or video."

The scale of the response came entirely as a surprise.  The site was flooded by thousands of responses from all corners of the world, with Betsy making over 400 new “buddies” every day, some hailing from far-away localities such as Chile, South Africa and Honduras.  Betsy also received hundreds of virtual gifts from cat-lovers who were touched by her plight.  

UnitedCats selected Betsy as Cat of the Week (COTW), where she was congratuled by her many friends.  Daisymay said, "Poor Betsy! It must be awful for you. Still you have nice people to take care of you.
Congratulations on being COTW though no consolation for losing your family," and Tonchi commented, "Congratulations on being COTW!! I hope you can find your family! I´m from Argentina, but anyway all my support to you!"

At the time of writing, Besty has 2,810 buddies and has received 764 warm pats.

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