Back in 2008, Vicky Swainson was moving house when her beloved cat Gucci disappeared.
The black and white cat leapt into an allotment close to their house in Gildersome, near Leeds, and despite searching, Vicky couldn’t find him.
She placed dozens of missing cat posters and walked two miles almost every day from her new home in Morley to her old property hoping to cross his path.But 12 years later, the pair have been reunited after his microchip was scanned by a vet.
Vicky, now 31, said: ‘When I got the call I was in total shock, I couldn’t even process what was happening.
‘Then when I realised it was my Gucci, I just felt overjoyed and overwhelmed.
‘Gucci was alive and well, and I was going to see him.
‘It was such a crazy and surreal phone call – I was pinching myself.
‘It really was a one in a million chance. I don’t think I’ll ever believe I have him back, even if I’m holding him.’
She immediately headed to the vet to see if it was Gucci and she recognised him the moment she walked into the room.
The bank manager said: ‘I went to get him on Friday afternoon and I knew it was him immediately.
‘I’d like to think he recognised me as well because as soon as I picked him up he was cuddling me and purring.
‘It was such a strange feeling – something I never expected to go through.
‘I didn’t think I’d ever hold him again, yet here I was, holding Gucci like when I was a teenager – it was surreal.’
Vicky said when they moved house 12 years ago, they hoped to get him comfortable in their new home for two weeks.
But the curious cat dived out the window into a nearby allotment.
Recalling how heartbroken she was when Gucci first escaped, Vicky said: ‘We were hoping to get him used to the new place but while we were moving he just escaped from his room and disappeared.
‘We saw him jump into a nearby allotment and went to look for him but everywhere we searched we couldn’t find him.
‘We tried calling for him, we tried shaking his favourite biscuits, we tried everything.
‘I just wanted him to come back I couldn’t believe he’d disappeared.
‘Even after we moved we walked two miles back to our old house for six months in the hope we’d stumble upon him.
‘It was so heartbreaking – Gucci was part of the family.’
Before being reunited with Vicky, the vet said Gucci has been wandering the streets for about eight months and was being fed by a local woman.
She noticed he had lost some weight so she rang the vet to get him checked.
It was here the vets found his microchip and contacted Vicky.
Vicky said: ‘I never would have been able to share this beautiful moment with Gucci and be reunited with him without his microchip.
‘I think it’s so important that people with cats do this – not just with dogs.’
Vicky now has another cat called Larry and she was worried that he wouldn’t take well to another family member.
But he’s been rehomed with Vicky’s dad Steve Swainson who has been more than happy to welcome back the adventurous moggy.