A MOGGY that went missing for eight years is back home after his owner spotted him on Facebook.
Elizabeth Shaw, from Dalkeith, Midlothian, was browsing a local cat rescue’s webpage when she spotted a cat who looked strikingly familiar to long-lost Thomas.
The 45-year-old, whose pet went missing in 2005, was shocked to discover that he had been found and handed in to a cat shelter.
He was identified by his microchip but the telephone number embedded on the chip no longer worked.
Pet and owner were reunited because Miss Shaw is a regular on Lothian Cat Rescue’s Facebook page.
Thomas is now back at home with his family and – apart from begrudging the presence of two new cats – is said to be “the same old cat”.
The mother-of-two said: “It’s incredible. It came completely out of the blue.
“He’s 13-years-old now and a lot bigger than when I last had him but he’s the same old cat.”
She added: “He recognised me instantly. He’s been a bit grumpy but I suppose you would be too if you’d been lost for eight years.”
“I had given him up as dead only to find he’s been less than a mile away all this time.”
The animal-lover added: “He’s a little frightened but he’s the old Thomas. He’s hiding under the bed but when I stroke him he’s purring like mad and speaking to me.
“I’ve got two other cats over the years and he’s just come back in with an air of ‘Hey, I was here first.”
It is not known how Thomas survived his almost time in the wilderness but it is thought he lived feral in nearby woodland.
But four months ago the cat was befriended by a local cat-lover who started feeding him scraps of food until he trusted her enough to take him to the cat shelter.
The shelter scanned Thomas and found a microchip with his name, age and Mrs Shaw’s contact details but the contact information was out of date.
Jacci Edwards, a warden with the Lothian Cat Rescue, said she had heard of cats being reunited with owners after lengthy periods but this was by far the longest.
She said: “The longest I’ve ever heard of a cat being missing and then returning is around a year. You’d love to be able to find out just exactly where he’s been all this time.
“None of us could believe it when Elizabeth showed up and told us he had been missing for more than eight years.
“It just goes to show never give up on lost pets and get your animals checked.”