Jonathan Barber was elated when ‘Sonny’ miraculously turned up on his doorstep after disappearing in 2008.
But he was soon left mortified when his neighbours – who had been on holiday when ‘Sonny’ reappeared – saw the paper and called round to say ‘Sonny’ was in fact their cat Blacky.
Sonny the cat... safe at home at last
The flustered feline, who was staying in Mr Barber’s garden shed in Bekesbourne, was taken back to his rightful home.
Attempting to see the funny side, dad-of-two Mr Barber described the tale as “of Woody Allen proportions”.
He said: “The fact of the matter is that Sonny isn’t Sonny, he’s Blacky! And he belongs to our neighbours, who live next door but one.
“They went on holiday on the day of ‘Sonny’s’ apparent remarkable return to us.
“My neighbour’s mother had been charged with the duty of feeding their cat, but he ‘disappeared’ on the same day they left.”
Jonathan Barber with son Michael... and Sonny, of course!
Mr Barber had told how ‘Sonny’ returned in a bedraggled state and in need of a good meal – but there was a simple explanation for Blacky’s condition.
He explained: “The reason has nothing to do with malnutrition but is due to an over-active thyroid gland.
“His teeth hadn’t fallen out due to malnourishment, but as a result of an expensive dental procedure some years ago.
"Our faces are puce with embarrassment" - Jonathan Barber
“In truth, he’s 15 years old and suffering from various illnesses associated with old age and has been looked after very well.
“The fault is entirely mine and I’m beginning to wish the ground would swallow me up!
“Happily, Blacky is now reunited with his real family and no longer living cooped up in a garden hut. Our faces are puce with embarrassment.
“At least we can rest easily in the knowledge that he’s back where he belongs.”
And as for seeing the real Sonny again, Mr Barber added: “His fate remains unclear, though it seems probable that he has perished.”
Stories you might have missed