Missing cat returns home - five years late

Craig and Emma Hirst  have been reunited with their cat Sophie after five years.
Craig and Emma Hirst have been reunited with their cat Sophie after five years.

A Tingley couple have spoken of their delight after their pet cat turned up safe and well, after going missing for five years.

Craig and Emma Hirst’s feline friend Sophie disappeared in June 2009 and appeared to be gone for good when the couple’s avid search for her was unsuccessful.

But she has now finally been reunited with her owners after remarkably turning up in Beeston, more than three miles away.

Sophie, who is now 16, was traced after the microchip she’d been tagged with by the Cat Action Trust in Leeds was scanned. And according to her owners, Sophie is now right at home again, behaving as if she’s never been away.

Craig, who has had Sophie since she was just a year old, said: “I’m amazed that she came back to us, and I’m also amazed that she turned up three and a half miles away - I could understand it if it was only a few streets away.

“I’d love to know where she’s been and how she got there, but it will remain a mystery.

“It was out of character for Sophie to leave and not return. “We exhausted a lot of avenues when trying to find her, and I never really gave up but after a while you do think ‘Well as long as she’s happy’.

“We assumed that she was probably living with someone else. “I’m really grateful to the Cat Action Trust for helping me get her back. They do so much good work for people like ourselves who are missing their pets.”

Sophie has also been reunited with the kittens she left behind, who have stayed with Craig and Emma ever since.