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Bonjour! Cat Moon Unit missing from London for nearly a decade turns up in Paris

A woman from Gravesend whose cat went missing almost a decade ago has been reunited with her long-lost pet after it turned up... in Paris.

Marna Gilligan, 39, who lives in a boat in the Embankment Marina off Albion Parade, Gravesend, had not seen Moon Unit in eight years after she disappeared from her old London home.

She and former partner Sean Purdy had adopted the black-and-white cat after seeing her strolling around East London 10 years ago but she vanished after a New Year’s Eve party in 2008.

Moon Unit enjoys a little TLC
Moon Unit enjoys a little TLC

The pair thought their pet, which had been named after Moon Unit Zappa – the actress and daughter of musician Frank Zappa – was never to be seen again.

But now they have been reunited after some detective work paid off.

"I was so shocked, I didn’t believe it. At first I thought the chipping company had made a mistake"

Moon Unit was taken in as a stray by an animal shelter over 200 miles away in Paris, L’association d’Aide et de Défense des animaux en détresse (ADAD).

The UK Microchipping Database Petlog traced the 11-year-old cat back to the couple’s former Bermondsey address and emailed Ms Gilligan with the good news.

Within days, the pair travelled by Eurostar to collect her and brought her home by ferry.

Ms Gilligan lives in Gravesend with one of Moon Unit’s kittens, Roswell, while the wandering cat is back with Mr Purdy, 49, at his Deptford Home.

Ms Gilligan said: “I was so shocked, I didn’t believe it. At first I thought the chipping company had made a mistake with the numbers but then we swapped pictures, she has a
distinctive white stroke on her nose so I knew it was her.

“It’s hard to tell if she recognised us, the ferry journey and whole handover was stressful and tiring for her so she slept most of the way.

“Now she’s back with Sean, following him around, sitting on his lap and telling him that she loves him at 5 o’clock in the morning. It’s just lovely to see her again.”

A fundraising page called ‘Help Moon Unit say Merci’ has now been set up to raise money for ADAD, the shelter which rescued the cat and has so far raised £1,225.

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