It may well go down as the longest game of cat and mouse in Harrogate’s history but, after an incredible 14 years away, Misty has finally returned home.
Diane Greig first brought Misty the kitten, as well as his brother Harry, back to her home on Beech Grove in 1998, ‘spending four wonderful years together as a family.’’
However, on one fateful day in 2002, Misty had done his usual disappearing act and wandered off but, sadly on this occasion, never returned home.
Despite extensive searches around the area, Misty never reappeared and the family had to concede that they would probably never see him again.
But, fast forward 14 years and Diane has been almost miraculously reunited with her feline friend after an unexpected call from Gatehouse Vets in Keighley.
Vets were left astounded when they stumbled upon the stray cat and scanned his chip, only to find that Misty’s original home was actually more than 25 miles away.
Diane said: “We lived on Beech Grove and Misty would sit on the fences round the corner so the kids could stroke him on their way back from school. He did that every day until one day he just vanished.
“I kept updating my phone details in the hope someone would find him but when we moved house about six years later, I did think we would never see him again.
“I was absolutely shocked when I got the message from the vets. To hear he was alive after all these years was amazing and I cried when I first saw him again.”
Although Misty returned to a very different family than the one he left behind, with Diane’s five-year-old son Caileb now 19 and three new pets in the house, the 18-year-old has made himself right at home.
“He wasn’t fazed by anything, even with our two new cats and our dog, I really thought they would go for each other but he’s actually become best friends with the dog,” Diane said.
“The vets had absolutely no idea where he had been. I would love to know where he has been all this time and if anyone had taken him in. It would be amazing if Misty could talk and tell us about his adventures.
“He’s very elderly now so we’re having to make up for lost time but it’s just so incredible to have him back after all these years.”