A cat that was missing presumed dead is feline fine after turning up alive and well 70 miles from his Leeds home – nearly three years after he vanished.
When Facto the cat disappeared at the end of 2010, owner Patricia Auty eventually gave up hope of ever seeing him again.
So when the pensioner, of Atha Crescent in Beeston, received a call from a vet last week to say that the prodigal puss was alive, she struggled to believe her ears.
And she was left stunned to discover her beloved pet had been happily living for the last 12 months by the seaside in Filey.
“I couldn’t believe it. We still have no idea where he was for the first two years, but he has been living with a lady who had taken him in after finding him about 12 months ago,” she said.
“We’re so happy to have him back.”
The hunt for Facto, now 11, began after he failed to return home around Christmas 2010.
But despite local enquiries, letters through the doors of neighbours and an appeal through Leeds Cat Rescue, neither hide nor hair was seen of the eight-year-old moggy.
However, when his adopted owner took him to a vet in the seaside town his real owner was traced thanks to a microchip he was fitted with.
Mrs Auty, 72, added: “You just don’t expect it. But as soon as we got him back home he was back in his favourite spot. It’s like he was never away.”
A spokeswoman for the charity Cats Protection said: “We may never know where he was or how he survived during the time he was missing, however cats are extremely resourceful creatures and can adapt to many different habitats.
“Cases like these just go to show how important it is to microchip your cat as this is a safe and permanent method of identification and increases the chances of a lost cat being safely reunited with his owner as in this case.”
MOGGIES ON THE MOVE
Facto joins a long line of cats who have achieved fame after remarkable journeys.
Here are some others:
Mrs Chippy: A cat on explorer Earnest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914–17.
Nansen: The ship’s cat on board Belgica during the Belgian Antarctic Expedition of 1897-99.
Casper: A male domestic cat that was famous for travelling on a bus in Plymouth. Inspired his own book, Casper the Commuting Cat.