'Sit down, I have some news': Family's startling phone call three years after their pet vanished

It’s an all too common story of heartache among many animal lovers — one day, often without any explanation, a pet disappears without a trace and leaves their distraught owner with only questions and grief.

Three years ago, it was similar story for the Kendirjian family.

One night their much-loved, largely indoor cat Polar failed to appear for her dinner and they never knew what became of her.

The family’s youngest member, 16-year-old Cleo, had been studying her HSC at the time and became so devastated she struggled to focus.

Weeks, then months, dragged on and eventually years passed by with no sign of what happened to Polar.

The family assumed she was dead and after about a year they adopted another two cats. They didn’t forget Polar, but accepted she was never coming back.

Cleo Kendirjian with her mother Esther and their cat Polar -- returned to them after three years. Source: Community Cat Carers Inc.

So on Saturday when Esther Kendirjian answered the phone to an unknown number and was told by the person on the other end of the line he had her cat, she was confused – her two cats were right there in the house.

“No, I’m talking about Polar,” Michael Goldberg, the president of Sydney cat rescue group Community Cat Carers, told her.

Mrs Kendirjian had immediately burst into tears, telling him, “Oh my god, this cat has been missing for three years.”

She quickly phoned her daughter and instructed her: “You’d better sit down I’ve got some news.”

Upon receiving the news, Cleo, now 19-years-old, also began to cry.

Finding Polar

There was something not right about the sweet female cat Fabian Salamon encountered in the middle of a western Sydney industrial estate.

Fabian Salamon was immediately enamoured with the friendly female cat he encountered at the industrial site he was working at for just a week. Source: Community Cat Carers

She was too friendly and had none of the tell-tale signs of a feral or street cat.

Mr Salamon was only working at the site for a week, but when his final day came, he decided he wasn’t leaving without her.

He called up Community Cat Carers and told Mr Goldberg, “This cat has got to belong to somebody”. Mr Goldberg instructed him to bring her in.

Shortly afterwards, a microchip scan revealed the contact details of her owners and the rescue group’s president was on the phone to Mrs Kendirjian.

Fabian Salamon found Polar then personally returned her to her delighted owners. Source: Community Cat Carers

‘We were all in tears’

On Saturday morning, the two men responsible for finding Polar and her owners travelled together to the home listed on her microchip details.

It was “some scene”, Mr Goldberg told Yahoo News Australia of the reunion between Polar and the owners who had long since thought she was dead.

Cleo had dropped to her knees crying in front of the cat who had immediately started to rub her face against the young girl’s head. According to Mr Goldberg, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

“We were all in tears,” Mr Goldberg said. “It was just so lovely.”

No one can be quite sure where Polar has been for the past three years or how she ended up at the industrial site but Mr Goldberg speculates someone has been feeding her throughout the time she was gone.

“The weird thing is her condition was pretty good. She was a bit dirty, a bit greasy, but ultimately she wasn’t underweight or sick so it’s possible somebody had stolen her and kept her for a while and dumped her,” he said.

No one will ever quite know where Polar spent the past three years. Source: Community Cat Carers

“Only the cat will know what really happened but we fear that some awful person stole Polar from the front of the house.

“The lessons to be learnt from Polar’s little adventure are: Always make sure that your cat is micro-chipped; always keep your precious one within a safe environment,” he said, before also adding: “And never give up hope, you just never know when an angel like Fabian [Salamon] will be on hand.”

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