Sometimes lost kitty stories have happy endings, as in this story from the Philadelphia Daily News:
"The pet cat, who was born in Elizabethtown, Ky., got lost from his owners in Syracuse, N.Y., last summer.
"He was found on the street in Syracuse by a young woman coming to Philadelphia to college.
"She brought him with her but couldn't keep him after the move and gave him to a friend here.
"The friend also decided to move and had to surrender Snowball to the Morris Animal Refuge in Center City.
"Now, thanks to the shelter and the modern miracle of microchipping, Snowball is flying off in his cat carrier Friday to Portland, Ore., to be reunited with his original owner, a 10-year-old girl named Raven with whom Snowball used to sleep every night......"
Last spring we reunited TWO lost cats with their owners because they had microchips when brought in by good samaritans. My own cats are microchipped in case they ever get outside and wander away, and I STRONGLY recommend it for all cats.
We use the ResQ chip by Bayer which uses the universal standard technology so it can be read by various scanners. Our scanner reads ResQ and AVID chips (and others, IIRC). Currently we charge $80 if the microchip is placed while the cat is awake (because of the need for sedation/pain medication - it uses a BIG needle) and $55 if we place it while the cat is being sedated/anesthetized for another procedure. The price includes lifetime registration with Petlink, but it is the owner's responsibility to keep their contact information with Petlink current (they have a user-friendly website).