A delighted couple have been reunited with their long-lost cat – seven-and-a-half years after he disappeared.
Steve Allan, 54, and his wife Fiona, 52, had long since given up hope of seeing tabby Milo again after he vanished in July 2005.
The 10-year-old pet went missing with his sister Coco after they were let out for the evening.
Eight days later Coco wandered back alone to the couple’s home in Hardwich, Cambs..
But there was no sign or news of Milo for seven and a half years until December when the local vets phoned out of the blue.
To Steve and Fiona’s amazement they announced that Milo had been found alive and well – and was ready to come back home.
The tough tabby is thought to have lived wild for most of his absence before being taken in by a local cattery.
He had grown semi-wild and it took volunteers three months to coax him with food until they could handle him.
They took him to the vets who scanned him for a microchip and found his owners.
Overjoyed Steve, a software developer, said: “Fiona answered the phone and I kept hearing her say Milo.
“I thought it was strange because it is so long since anyone had spoken about him.
“Then I heard her say ‘right we will come and get him’ and I just couldn’t believe it.
“Both him and his sister Coco went missing and we thought we’d lost them forever.
“Eight days later Coco returned and we hoped Milo would too but he never did.”
He added: “It was amazing to have him home. He’s settling back in nicely
“But we are currently struggling to get him back out in to the great outdoors – I think he’s enjoying being snug and cosy.
“I’m not sure he recognised me when he returned but you wouldn’t expect him too after seven-and-a-half years. It’s most of his life time but he definitely remembered the house.
“He’s now found sat on the same window ledge he use to sit on when he was younger. He likes to watch people go by.”
Steve and Fiona adopted little Milo and his sister Coco when they were two-years-old from friends who were moving and could no longer keep them.
Every dog owner in England will have to microchip their animal from 2016 under plans intended to cut a rise in strays.
The microchips will be coded with owners’ details, and owners who do not comply could face fines of up to £500.