Pictured: Chebon, the tabby cat that went missing seven years ago, after being found by Genevieve Dillon along Ventura Avenue.

by Kimberly Rivers

Seven years ago on May 30, 2012, a well-loved tabby cat named Chebon went missing from the Anchors Away Marina, today called the Ventura Harbor Marina and Yacht Yard. His person at the time, Robert Wilson, was distraught at losing his cat that he had gotten as a kitten. Wilson had been preparing to move to Ohio to be closer to family and delayed that move for over a year in hopes that he would find Chebon. He didn’t and eventually moved to Ohio.

Robert Wilson reunited with Chebon at Ventura County Animal Services in Camarillo. Photo by Genevieve Dillon.

Then on Nov. 3, 2019, Genevieve Dillon found a skinny tabby cat along Ventura Avenue. “He was almost ready to die,” said Dillon. She cared for the cat for a week, and took him to a veterinarian for a checkup. Discovering the cat’s microchip, they were able to contact the owner — which turned out to be Wilson. He was “shocked and in tears,” said Dillon.

The cat had been missing for seven years and was now 19 years old.

“It’s just wonderful,” said Wilson about reuniting with Chebon. He made immediate arrangements to fly to California and was sitting with the cat on Nov. 18 after a joyful reunion at Ventura County Animal Services. Wilson says that Chebon is fairly underweight and hopes special food will help get him healthy so that they can have many more years together.

“I’ve had his picture on my nightstand all these years,” said Wilson. He’s visited the area once or twice a year since 2012 and he drives past the harbor where Chebon first went missing.

 “Who knows where this cat’s been for seven years wandering the streets of Ventura,” said Dillon, writing to the VCReporter via email. “I stop for any animal or child that looks out of place. It’s difficult for me to turn away . . . look at what has transpired by just being kind to one frail little animal.”