A cat has been reunited with its owners after going missing more than four years ago.
The 16-year-old moggy, called Mabel, was registered deceased on vet databases but has now been discovered 18 miles from her home.
Owner Julia Finch, a teacher from Maidstone, was stunned when she learnt her pet had been located on Tuesday, September 26.
“I got home from school and had a message on my voicemail from identichip,” the mum said.
“They claimed they had a positive ID on Mabel and that she was alive. I couldn’t believe it, I was so shocked.
“I stood there, open-mouthed – I had to play the message two or three times to myself.”
The moggy had been part of the family since she was a kitten and went missing in June 2019.
“We searched for weeks and weeks,” Julia explained. “People thought they had seen her.
“We drove around to so many different places. It got to a point where we believed we would never see her again.
“Eventually the vet registered her as deceased.”
It turns out she had travelled around 18 miles to Tenterden – a 45 minute drive from Julia’s home.
A resident in the area was looking for her own missing cat when she found Mabel in woodlands.
After being driven to the local vets, the rescuer – called Amy – cleaned and fed her.
Julia added: “She saw that Mabel needed help. We are eternally grateful. If she hadn’t picked her up, she wouldn’t have survived much longer.
“It is sad though, as she is still looking for her own cat.”
Due to living feral for a number of years, the 16-year-old feline is extremely malnourished, has matted fur and bald patches.
But after all this time, she still recognised her owner when they were reunited.
“She looked at bit of a state when we met her. You could see every bone in her body.”
Julie explained: “She looked at bit of a state when we met her. You could see every bone in her body.
“Her eyes went wide and ears pricked up when I called her name.
“It’s like having a baby again, all she wants to do is eat. I was up at 4am giving her more food.”
Following a number of blood tests, Mabel has been put on antibiotics to heal infections.
Julia says they are taking one day at a time as she adjusts to domestic life.
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Mabel’s ongoing medical treatment.
If you would like to donate, please click here.
“It just gives you a little bit of hope,” Julia added.
“To the people who have missing cats, please don’t give up.”