A CAT has been reunited with his family after he went missing – all of two years ago.
The adventurous feline, called Tigger, disappeared from his home in Empshott Road, Southsea, in July 2013.
Owners Della and Mike Southwell said they were delighted and shocked to learn that their five-year-old pet had not only survived, but appeared to have thrived during his epic adventure.
Della said: ‘We were hoping and praying that he might come back but after that amount of time we wouldn’t have expected to see him again.
‘We did think that maybe a fox had got him or he had been run over.
‘He looks exactly the same and really well cared for.
We got 1,000 leaflets printed out and searched for days. We had posters on every lamppost.Della Southwell
‘I don’t know where he has been. I don’t think he has been living on the streets because he’s really healthy like he has been well-fed.’
Della said Tigger went missing when she, Mike and their two daughters were on holiday in Spain and a family friend had been asked to look after the cat and the family’s other two cats.
She said that after returning home and finding out that Tigger had gone missing, they launched a search effort, but failed to find the cat.
Della said: ‘We got 1,000 leaflets printed and searched for days.
‘We had posters on every lamppost.
‘We went as far as Eastney and Highland Road but we didn’t go across Goldsmith Avenue.’
It turned out Tigger was just a little bit further away.
Della said he had been found by a man who lived in Frogmore Road, near Fratton Park, who had been feeding him for about four weeks.
The man posted a picture of the pet on the Facebook group Lost and Found Cats in the Portsmouth Area UK, and Becky Labruyere from the group paid a visit to scan the cat’s microchip. The chip showed the Southwells were the owners and Becky was able to call them so that their cat could be returned.
Della said: ‘It really shows that chips work, but the lady said that a lot people don’t get their animals chipped.’
One of Della and Mike’s daughters, Zoey Southwell, 21, said she was thrilled the cat had finally made it home.
She said: ‘We saw the little black spot on his nose and knew it was him.
‘It doesn’t look like he was a stray because he’s a big boy and he’s been well looked after.’
Tigger is now confined to the house for a couple of weeks while he reacquaints himself with his family home.