A north-east couple have spoken of their delight after being reunited with their cat which was missing for almost a year.
Margaret, 64, and James Rae, 66, from Ellon, were shocked when they were told their feline friend Holly had been handed into Donview Veterinary Centre in Inverurie.
The moggy disappeared almost a year ago and could not be found, despite extensive searches.
She was eventually found 15 miles away from home in Inverurie and handed into the local vet who tracked down her owners through her microchip.
Margaret said: “We were absolutely dumbfounded when we got the call from the practice.
“They asked us to come in and we were expecting to pick up a bundle of bones.
“We had put up leaflets, asked everyone to put out an appeal for her on Facebook, and still there was no sign.
“There just came a point where we had to accept we were never going to see her again.”
Holly, adopted from Cats Protection at just eight weeks old, had gone astray previously but was found not far away.
Mrs Rae continued: “She went missing two years ago.
“We searched everywhere, and it turned out she was hiding across the road in the neighbour’s garage. They thought they had rats because something was eating the dog food, but it turned out to be Holly.”
The cat celebrated her fifth birthday this week and is taking time to recover from her ordeal after returning home from her travels on Monday.
Mrs Rae said: “She didn’t recognise her surroundings immediately. She’s normally a feisty thing but she’s very subdued. She just wants to relax and is very happy lying on the couch snoozing today.”
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The discovery was posted online by vets in a bid to highlight to owners the importance of getting their pets microchipped.
They said in a post: “Without a microchip, we wouldn’t have got Holly back. The staff simply had to scan her and it popped up with our address.”
Mr and Mrs Rae also thanked those who looked after Holly.
One who did, Wilma Matthew, 57, from Inverurie, said: “I found Holly sitting on a wall at the bottom of my garden. I heard her long before I saw her because she was meowing her head off.”
Wilma said the feline followed her up to the house and wolfed down some cat biscuits but was gone the next morning.
However the next day she was back and Wilma took her up to the vets.
“When I saw the Facebook post I was quite emotional actually, to think she’d been gone for a whole year,” she added.
“I’m so happy for Mr and Mrs Rae as a cat owner myself. They must have given up all hope of ever getting her back. I can’t imagine how happy they felt.”