When treasured family cat Sonny disappeared without trace Gordon Brown was still Prime Minister and Kings of Leon topped the charts with Sex on Fire.
But the bedraggled moggy has miraculously turned up on his owner’s doorstep – FIVE years after vanishing from the home in Bekesbourne.
The Barber family were thrilled, but mystified, by the re-appearance of Sonny, who was malnourished and in need of a good meal.
Sonny the cat... safe at home at last
Jonathan Barber, 50, said: “We couldn’t believe it after all this time, but judging by the state of him, he had clearly been living on his wits.”
Sonny fled the home in September 2008 after fur flew between him and his brother, Joey.
Jonathan, a part-time sports journalist, said: “We got Sonny and Joey when they were kittens from the Lord Whisky Animal Sanctuary in 2006 and everything was fine for a while.
Jonathan Barber with son Michael... and Sonny, of course!
“But then, for some reason, they started to fight all the time and couldn’t be together without it all kicking off.
“Sonny fled after one almighty scrap and, although we searched high and low for him for weeks, and even put up posters all over the place, there were no sightings of him.”
Jonathan, his wife Claire and sons Michael, 10, and William, 22, were resigned to never seeing Sonny again, fearing he might not have survived.
Jonathan said: “We thought he might have been taken in by someone but, if not, would surely have perished in the cold winters we have been having in recent years.
“We were very sad because he was a lovely cat who was very affectionate.”
But then, out of the blue, Sonny recently appeared in the front garden of their home in Bifrons Road.
William, who is studying at the University of Kent, said: “I saw this black cat coming up the path and had to do a double take because there was no doubt it was Sonny.
“I shouted out to my parents ‘Sonny’s back’ and they came dashing out.”
Jonathan said: “We knew straight away it was him because of his markings but our vet later confirmed it because Sonny had suffered a broken foot when he was young.
In happier times? Sonny and Joey as kittens
“He was quite emaciated and in a pretty poor state so it looks like he has been living rough and maybe surviving on scraps.
“But he has had some veterinary treatment and is on the mend and back to his old affectionate self, like nothing has happened.”