A cat which went missing 10 years ago has turned up alive and well to the shock of her owner.
Alex Elliott, 39, was heartbroken when her cat Lilly disappeared in 2009. Alex and her family put up posters in a desperate attempt to find Lilly. When they didn't find her, they assumed she had been run over by a car.
However, Alex was shocked when two weeks ago, she got a call to say Lilly was at a local vets. She visited the vet this January and found her cat there. The cat had been traced back to her original family because she had been microchipped.
The cat, now 15, had been living in a house less than a mile away from Alex's home. A man had adopted the cat after finding her and thinking she was a stray.
Alex, whose youngest child had not even been born when Lilly disappeared, was amazed by this discovery. It turns out that the house where the cat was living in was on a route which Alex took every weekday on the school run with her daughters Emily, 10, and Kate, 7.
Alex was only reunited with the pet after Lilly was scanned by vets when the neighbour decided he no longer wanted her.
Alex, a nurse from Driffield, East Yorkshire, in England, said:
At first she went missing for a couple of weeks back in 2009 and then came home.
She had always been a cat who liked to explore and I assumed she’d been locked in a shed or something.
When she went missing again soon after, I didn’t panic straight away. A few days passed and I put posters out and asked around the village. Eventually I thought she’d probably been knocked down by a car.
The man who’d been keeping her had decided he didn’t want a cat anymore so the RSPCA collected her and took her to the vets.
She’d been kept inside as a house cat for ten years and he had a dog too.
I was crying my eyes out when I saw her again, I just gave her a big cuddle.
She was in good condition although her coat was coarse as if she’d not been stroked much, and I could tell she’d not had much attention.
It’s been awful for me. I should have had her with me for the past ten years.
I really want to highlight the importance of microchipping, as I would never have got her back otherwise.
If you think a cat is a stray, don’t start feeding it. Report it to the RSPCA who will take it to be scanned for a chip.
Alex has four other cats – Harry, Eddy, Imogen and Leo – and Lilly has settled in well to the family.
I introduced them to her slowly and they all seem to get on well.
She’s 15 now so she’s old. I got her as rescue kitten.
My seven-year-old daughter had only ever seen photos of her and my ten-year-old was a baby when she went missing.
They adore her, they have such a loving bond.