A runaway cat has been reunited with her owner after being found in Sheffield – seven years after disappearing from her home 24 miles away.
Freya disappeared from her home in Shirebrook, Derbyshire in 2008 and her owner presumed she had died.
But seven years later the footloose feline was discovered by volunteers from South Yorkshire animal charity Rain Rescue in the S9 area of Sheffield.
The charity runs a project to temporarily and humanely trap, neuter and then release stray cats in a bid to stop colonies of feral cats from breeding.
The 14-year-old was one of those trapped and when checked for a microchip – as all captured cats are – her adventure and Shirebrook home were discovered.
Sue Utley, cat co-ordinator at Rain Rescue, said: “We contacted the owner on Friday when we trapped Freya but there was no-one in.
“We were all waiting with our fingers crossed that she hadn’t moved and would call us back. Luckily she was in the same place.
“We arranged for a volunteer and volunteer driver to take Freya back to be reunited with her owner. She already has four more cats but was desperate to see her.
“We will never know how she got to Sheffield, but cats are notoriously curious, and so often end up hitching a ride in cars lorries and vans.
“She may have been taken in by someone.
“We believe Freya joined a small feral group but never became feral, although she has picked up some pretty good tips on hiding food.
“In the wild, any food you can’t eat has to be hidden from other hungry mouths. Freya remembers this, so what she wasn’t eating at her temporary lodgings, she was hiding beneath newspaper.
“What we are trying to get across is that microchipping does work as long as the details are kept up to date.”
n Rain Rescue relies heavily on donations to survive. To donate visit www.rainrescue.co.uk/make-a-donation or text TRAP33, then an amount you wish to donate between £1 and £10, to 70070.