Missing cat found after more than three years - two miles from home
- Credit: Alison Taylor
A cat owner was left shaking and sobbing tears of joy after her missing cat was found three and a half years later - only two miles down the road from where he was last seen.
Spud, a black and white cat, went missing from his home in Wilderness Road, in Queen's Hill, on August 27, 2017, and despite extensive searches has never been spotted.
On Sunday, Alison and Darren Taylor, who have since moved to Spain, received an email while watching TV saying Spud had wandered into a trap set for another cat and was in good health.
The Taylors had always held out hope Spud would be found and had been sad to move away without him, three years ago.
Mrs Taylor was contacted by the team at Companion Care, on Norfolk Retail Park, less than two miles from their former address due to his microchip.
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The pet owner said: "He will be five in May and he will be back in time for my 50th birthday. I cannot have asked for a better birthday present.
"I called and spoke to a lady, and I was gone, I was sobbing at this point and had to give the phone to Darren.
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"We're still in shock. It doesn't seem real, Darren and I have had so many dreams"
Their friend Celine Sanders picked Spud up before the vets closed the same day, calling the couple on Facetime for an emotional online reunion.
Mrs Taylor said: "If only he could talk and tell us what has happened to him in three-and-a-half-years. We'll just never know.
"He had been less than two miles away and nobody had seen him.
"He's just a larger version of himself. A chunkier version."
The couple has received generous donations on a Go Fund Me page to help them with costs of his vaccinations and treatment.
Looking back at the night Spud went missing, Mrs Taylor said it was a "comedy of errors".
Mrs Taylor, was a volunteer at Hallswood Animal Sanctuary and had fostered Spud and his two siblings as kittens, who were feral, to train them to be domesticated.
She said: "When they spit and hiss, I quite like it because when they purr you have earned that purr. They will not do it for any person they have to earn it. A feral cat or kitten is more rewarding.
"Darren really fell in love with Spud and he became part of the family."