A pet owner has been reunited with the cat she had given up hope of ever seeing again.
George disappeared from his Marton home six years ago.
But now he’s back home, after being handed into an animal charity, and a Facebook posting about him went viral.
Now 16, George lived with owners Barbara and David Fish at their home in Powell Avenue, before he went missing one day in October 2009.
The couple spent weeks putting up posters and distributing flyers, but had given up hope of ever seeing him again.
Barbara, 54, said: “We looked everywhere for him but we just couldn’t find where he’d got to. We put flyers up and missing cat posters but we never heard anything more.
We looked everywhere for him but we just couldn’t find where he’d got to. We put flyers up and missing cat posters but we never heard anything more.Barbara Fish
“There wasn’t a lot we could do at the time. But we never forgot about him and we thought about him often.”
Remarkably, George was found only a mile away from his home last week.
Susan Heath returned to her home in Baldwin Grove to find George had got in through the catflap and was sitting on the kitchen table.
His face was covered in cuts and sores and he was underweight and weak, so Mrs Heath contacted Blackpool animal rescue charity Cats in Care.
Susan then posted pictures of George on Facebook, which went viral with responses from as far as Australia.
She said:”“George is such a lovely, sweet cat. He let me feed him, clean him, and bathe his wounds.”
Barbara saw the pictures on Facebook and knew instantly it was George.
“I told my husband and showed him the picture. His eyes filled up,” she said. “David said not to get our hopes up in case it wasn’t him, but we both recognised him right away.
“I went to pick him up on Sunday. It’s brilliant, it’s wonderful, it’s a miracle. I just can’t believe he’s come home after all this time. I can’t put into words how happy we are.
“I’ve cried all weekend that he’s come home. Tears of happiness. It’s like he’s never been away.”
However, this isn’t the first time that George has been lucky.
As a kitten he escaped death by a whisker.
Barbara said: “We’d been to an equestrian centre as we have horses.
“It was there that we saw George. He was a tiny kitten, only five weeks old and had cat flu.
“He was really very poorly. We were told that he would die.
“I didn’t want to leave him there all alone in the barn, so we took him to the vets and then brought him home that same day.
“After surviving that, then surviving being on his own for six years, George has proved to be one tough cookie!”
The couple have no idea where George has spent the past six years.
“If only he could talk, he could tell us everywhere he has been,” said Barbara.
Now, George is being treated at Spen Corner Veterinary service for a large abscess on the side of his face.
Barbara said: “We know that George is old and frail and we may not have long left with him.
“But that doesn’t matter, all that matters is that George came home.”
“We would just like to say a huge thank-you to Susan Heath and Cats in Care, as well as everyone who has donated to help George get the care he needs.”