A missing pet cat found in Filey has been returned to its doting owner – three years since it went missing nearly 70 miles away in Leeds.
The stunned owners of moggy Facto had given up all hope of ever seeing their beloved pet ever again, until a Filey vet called them to let them know their cat was alive and well – and living by the seaside.
Pensioner Patricia Auty admits she was shocked to hear the news – and is now looking forward to spending another Christmas with her cat after his three year “holiday”.
“As soon as we got him back home he was back in his favourite spot. It’s like he was never away,” said the 72-year-old retired nurse, who lives with husband Geoffrey, 82, in Leeds.
She told how she tirelessly hunted for Facto after he vanished around Christmas 2010.
The cat had been living with a kind woman in Filey for the past 12 months, who had looked after the animal before taking it to the vets.
It was only after the vet checked the cats hi-tech microchip that his orginal owner could be located.
“I got a call on Friday telling me that Facto had been found in Filey, and I just couldn’t believe it,’ said Mrs Auty.
“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.
“I don’t know how he managed to get to Filey, but it sounds like he’s had a nice holiday away.
“The lady who took him in had been feeding Facto and looking after him – he even looks like he’s put a bit of weight on.
“I was so amazed to hear that he’d been found and on the drive to Filey, I couldn’t wait to see him.
“When he saw us, he came to say hello and I gave him a cuddle.”
However, a bemused Mrs Auty admits she has no idea where the animal had spent his first two years in the wilderness of Yorkshire.
Now Facto is back home and Patricia couldn’t be happier.
“We’re going to keep him in for a few more days,” said Patricia.
“I’d hate for him to go missing again, when he’s just come back to us. We’re so happy to have him back.”
The pensioners acquired both Facto and his sister Ipso in 2001, after their son Graham moved house and was unable to look after them anymore.
“We’d had them since they were kittens and they were both part of the family, so when Facto went missing we did all we could to try and find him,’ said Mrs Auty.
“We put flyers through letterboxes and phoned Cat Rescue centres, but he never turned up.”
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 increases the chances of a lost cat being safely reunited with its owner.”