02/10/2015 05:00 EST | Updated 04/11/2015 05:59 EDT

Bridgewater family shocked at reunion with cat missing for 4 years

Two Nova Scotia cat owners received the surprise of a lifetime when they were reunited over the weekend with their cat, who had been missing for four years.

Jenny and Joshua McEwen last saw their cat, Harley Quinn, when the calico was lost during a move from Jeddore to Dartmouth more than four years ago.

"Obviously, we were very upset and sad," said Jenny McEwen.

"We were worried that since we'd moved, she couldn't find her way back home and that was when we thought we'd seen the last of Harley."

The couple has since moved again, to Bridgewater.

The reunion came about because Harley is microchipped — and she got a little bit of help from a Dartmouth teenager and his mom.

A 13-year-old boy and his mother, Laurie Eisner, saw Harley a few times near group mailboxes earlier this month on Bisset Road in Dartmouth. They picked up the cat, contacted a Facebook group devoted to lost cats in Nova Scotia and took her to be scanned for a chip at a vet.

The scan showed the owner's name, but the address was not current. With some digging, the McEwens were tracked down in a few days.

"Disbelief. I couldn't believe it for the first minute. I was in shock," said McEwen.

Owner credits microchipping for the reunion

Not surprisingly, McEwan is a big fan of microchipping animals.

"If it wasn't for the microchip, she never would have been reunited with us," she said. "I feel very, very lucky."

Microchipping is an inexpensive procedure which usually costs between $25 and $60 per animal.

McEwen said Harley appears to have been well looked after by her interim owners, noting that she has put on some weight in the last four years.

"It was a journey of ups and downs, but [it has] a really wonderful ending," McEwen said.