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Isobel Thatcher was just four-years-old when her beloved pet cat Max disappeared, and as weeks and months went by, her family gave up hope of ever seeing him again, assuming he'd likely been run over.
But ten years later, now 14, Isobel received a message out of the blue from a neighbour. He said he'd just discovered the black cat that had been living with his mum for years, less than a mile away, belonged to the Thatchers.
Max had been living with the elderly lady, who fed him from her conservatory, but when she felt she could no longer care for him properly, her son contacted the Animals Lost and Found charity in Kent.
The charity assessed Max and found a microchip that confirmed he belonged to the Thatcher family.
After a few Facebook messages were exchanged, Max was returned to his rightful owners on Monday, 18th November and Isobel, from Rainham, Kent, was delighted.
She said: "It's the best thing to happen to me all year - it's a Christmas miracle. I was really upset when he went missing, I just presumed he'd died after all this time."
"It came completely out of the blue and I really wasn't expecting it, but I'm so happy."
Her mum, Julie, 46, added: "When he didn't come back all those years ago, I think we all assumed he'd been run over and that was it.
"Then suddenly we got these messages and within a few hours they came to our door and I just said 'that's him.'"
The teaching assistant added: "Even though it's been ten years, he's very distinctive so we recognised him straight away. Little did we know he was essentially hiding under our noses."
The Thatchers added that Max was much skinnier than before, but has found comfort by curling up on Isobel's bed.
It's adorable he's now home in time for Christmas - what else could Isobel need now?
Animals Lost and Found staff urged pet owners to have their animals chipped to make reuniting them easier if they go missing.
Natasha McPhee, from the charity, said: "Anyone who has a cat or a dog should make sure they are chipped and that details are kept up to date, regardless of how many years have gone by."
One thing's for sure, is those minxy felines are definitely not as loyal as dogs.
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