A “LAZY” house cat called Boris Noris Basil the Third has been found 15 months after going on the run and being given up for dead.
The pampered feline decided to try living rough when its owners went on holiday last year and left the then three-year-old with a cat-sitter.
Despite repeated appeals for information both online and using posters, the Johnston family from Musselburgh, East Lothian, feared they would never see Boris again.
And when the family – Kevin and Tammy and their daughters Felicity and Eva – moved to London in July this year, all hope seemed lost.
But despair turned to delight last week when a vet in East Lothian called to say they’d found a bedraggled cat living rough near their old home – called Boris Noris Basil the Third.
The following day, Tammy, 31, and Felicity, 11, and Eva, 9, travelled back to Scotland for an emotional reunion.
Felicity was so so overcome that she dropped to her knees and sobbed.
Tammy said: “The vet told me ‘we have your cat’ and I just broke down and cried – we had given up hope he would ever be found.
“Felicity just dropped to her knees and sobbed when she saw Basil.
“They had a really close bond, like best friends, and she was especially upset when he went missing.
“If a cat could cry I think he would have too, he just stared at her and then didn’t leave her side all night.
“He even slept curled up in her bed that night – I think it was the best sleep both of them had in a long time.”
They were shocked to find that Basil, whose name takes inspiration from the Mayor of London, had been living under a bush just a couple of miles away from where he was last seen.
Tranent resident, Joy Stewart, had been feeding him daily and built up his confidence enough to lure him into a cat basket.
She took him to the vets where they found he was microchipped – allowing them to trace his owners and get in touch.
Tammy said: “We had left Boris with a cat sitter while we went on holiday to Spain, which is when he escaped.
“He was very much a ‘sit-on-the-bed’ cat and was very lazy, we didn’t think he would be able survive on his own.
“Felicity cried and cried and cried when we couldn’t find him. We have got two cats since but he was her ‘first love’.
“We are so delighted he has been found, it just goes to show how important it is that you get your animals microchipped.
“He looked great when we saw him, except for a few scratches on his nose. He had been neutered as well which kept him out of fights.”