A CAT that went missing on a family holiday in 2009 has been reunited with its owners.
Murphy, who had been holidaying with his owners in Argyll when he disappeared, was found at exactly the same spot.
Murphy’s family, from Johnstone, Renfrewshire, had given up all hope of ever seeing the 10-year-old feline.
They rented a lodge at Drimsynie Holiday Village, Lochgoilhead, to celebrate the 50th birthday of owner Julie Maloney.
The family decided to take Murphy with them but when it came time to leave, he refused to get in the car and ran off into bushes.
They searched into the night for their pet but were forced to return home and hope for good news.
The family have been back for a holiday at the same park every summer since, always hoping to find their beloved pet.
On Saturday, having long ago assumed Murphy was gone for good, they received a “shock” phone call from the Scottish SPCA.
They were told Murphy was alive and well, apart from suffering from a sore eye.
To their amazement he had been earlier that day at exactly same lodge at they rented when he went missing.
Julie’s husband, Alan, said: “He actually turned up at the same place that we lost him.
“That was the first time we’ve been, it was my wife’s 50th so we rented a lodge and invited lots of our family to join us.”
The 57-year-old added: “We were trying to get Murphy into his cat box to go in the car but he didn’t want to go in.
“He clawed at Julie and took off. We went after him and could see him in the bushes but when we got near to him he would run away again.
“We had to go home without him but we made the hour long drive later the same day to try and find him again.”
Alan, a porter with the NHS, said: “The people who owned the property or were renting it called the hotel on the site to report they had found a cat.
“They called the SPCA who came and got in touch with us after they microchipped him.
“Its funny because we have stayed in the same room and lodges every year since he went missing and we’ve never seen him.
“We think someone must have taken care of him because he’s healthy, his coat is still quote glossy and he had no fleas.
“Everyone was sad at the time.
“It was a shock when we got the call, we thought he was dead.
The family got Murphy when he was a kitten as a gift for daughter Pauline.
Julie Maloney, 53, a medical secretary for the NHS said, “After a year and a half of searching we reluctantly gave up hope of ever seeing Murphy again so we got another cat, a wee female.
“She’s not too happy about Murphy’s return but we’re sure they’ll accept each other in time.
“Murphy has been really clingy these past few days so we think he’s glad to be back after such a long time apart from us and of course, we’re delighted he’s finally home.”
The Scottish SPCA strongly recommends pet owners have their animals micro-chipped and the charity offers this service through its animal rescue and rehoming centres.
A spokesman from the Scottish SPCA said: “This is another remarkable example of how important it is to get your pets micro-chipped as we’d never have been able to reunite the Maloneys with Murphy if he didn’t have this essential piece of identification.”
In October a second cat in nine months was found was wandering the streets of the same Fife town after mysteriously travelling hundreds of miles from England.
Pablo, a nine-year-old silver tabby was reported missing in October 2012 by his owner Siobhan Campbell in Lewisham, South East London.
The travelling tom had been missing for so long his owners thought he was dead, until he was found 400 miles away on Friday last week outside the Lloyds Bank on Queensferry Road, Rosyth.
In February this year, another cat was found abandoned in Rosyth. A check of its microchip showed it came from Plymouth, Devon – 500 miles away.
Animal rescuers remain baffled by both cats’ amazing journeys across the country.