Northampton cat spotted "living rough" 25 miles away returns to owners years after going missing
A couple from Rectory Farm were "stunned in silence" after their cat, Sherlock was found safe and well in Bedford, two-and-a-half years after it left home.
Patrick and Jane Hutt waved goodbye one evening to Sherlock, the eight-year-old short-haired cat, who was last seen leaving home in June 2014.
Following a month long search around Northamptonshire for the cat, Sherlock was never found.
Mr Hutt told the Chronicle & Echo that the couple feared the worse for the cat. He said: "For a couple of weeks we put up posters, we had hope for a couple of months.
"We thought he had been run over, we were stunned in silence. My wife said its the best Christmas present she's ever had.
"We have five other cats, we didn't know if he would fit in but he has now integrated well with the other cats."
This week Sherlock was taken to see a vet in Bedford by a concerned local who had spotted him living rough in the town.
The vet scanned Sherlock for a microchip and was able to immediately trace his owners.
She said: “We always wondered what had happened to Sherlock and couldn’t believe it when the phone rang to say he’d been found.
“In the last two years, we’ve actually got five more cats but he’s quickly adapted to the new additions in our household and seems delighted to be back. We’re overjoyed to be reunited with him although it certainly makes us nervous now whenever he goes out.”
After collecting him, Mr and Mrs Hutt took him to White Cross Vets at Weston Favell Shopping Centre in Northampton for a full health check.
Nishi Jani, clinic director at White Cross Vets, said: “Cats are great survivors and Sherlock is generally in good health, which is amazing when you consider that he’s potentially been living on the streets for so long. He’s a healthy weight, looks very well and it’s fantastic to see him back at home after such a long time away.
“Sherlock’s case reinforces the importance of microchipping pets and making sure that the address and contact details registered against them are up to date. Without a microchip, it’s highly unlikely that Sherlock would have ever been reunited with his owner after all this time.”