Two cats called Chas and Dave have been reunited one year and four months after Dave went missing from his home.
Their owner Helen Kybert, 45, said Dave disappeared a fortnight after she moved house to Watlington, Norfolk, in October 2019.
She said she was “devastated” and feared she may never see Dave again, until she received a call 16 months later from the charity Cats Protection.
Dave had been reported as a stray and taken in by the charity.
Staff were able to contact owner Ms Kybert as Dave was microchipped and she had updated her contact details after she moved house.
Dave was found just two miles from Ms Kybert’s home in Watlington.
“To see him again was amazing,” said Ms Kybert, who works as a data officer at a secondary school in Downham Market.
“He was a bit timid at first but before long he was sat on my lap purring, happy to be home where he belonged.
“He looked surprisingly well, too – although a bit bigger around the middle.
“Someone must have been feeding him and I have to be grateful to them for that.
“Without that care and people reporting him as a stray, Dave wouldn’t have survived to return home to us.
“I know I’m one of the lucky ones, but it shows that you shouldn’t give up hope.
“If your cat is microchipped and your details are current, there is always a chance that it could come home.”
She adopted brothers Chas and Dave, who are now both three years old, as kittens.
She said she “regretted” her decision to let Dave out so soon after moving house and had put posters on lampposts, spoken to neighbours and started a social media appeal to find him.
She said that now Chas and Dave are back together “it’s like he’s never been away”.
“He’s settled back to life with Chas and I so well,” said Ms Kybert.
“They play fight, snuggle up and wash each other just like when they were kittens.
“I honestly believe he remembers everything from before he strayed.
“Cats are amazing. I couldn’t ask for a better outcome.”
Becky Piggott, senior cat care assistant at Cats Protection’s Downham Market Adoption Centre, said: “We were called about a stray cat that had been found and, after evading capture a couple of times, he came into our care.
“He was checked over and we found his chip, which was a good start.
“When we saw that he had been marked as missing and his details on the database had recently been updated, we were thrilled.
“Dave’s owner was shocked when I called to say we’d found him safe and well.
“She was over the moon to get him back home.
“I love making these kind of phone calls, although all too often it isn’t such a simple story.
“Too many people forget to update their details on the database.”