Suffolk cat found 150 miles from home after going missing five years ago
- Credit: Louise Dixon
A Suffolk woman whose beloved cat went missing more than five years ago has discovered he was adopted by a new family 150 miles away in Hampshire.
Louise Dixon's ginger tomcat Seamus — who she described as her "favourite pet ever" — went missing in February 2016, a short while after the family moved to a new home in Rendlesham.
After Seamus did not return home one evening, the mum-of-two set out into the cold in a desperate bid to find her pet.
She had long assumed she would never see Seamus again, so was shocked to receive a phone call on Tuesday from a vet in Fleet in Hampshire — nearly 150 miles from where she last saw Seamus.
The vet had scanned Seamus' microchip and called Mrs Dixon, who was left in tears after learning her cat was still alive.
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Mrs Dixon said: "We moved house over to Rendlesham and did the usual thing — not letting him go too far.
"But one day he didn't come back. We went out looking for him in the cold and the wind, but he was nowhere to be seen.
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"Roll on nearly six years and I get a call from a vet in Fleet saying he was there — I blubbed like a baby."
But instead of asking for him back five years on, Mrs Dixon has generously allowed Seamus to stay with the Hampshire family who have young children.
Mrs Dixon believes Seamus, who has been renamed Sandy by his new owners, may have headed to Hampshire on-board a lorry or van from a factory near her home.
He was eventually picked up by a farmer, before being bought on Gumtree by a family in Hampshire.
Mrs Dixon said her choice to allow Seamus to stay in Hampshire was the "hardest decision" of her life — but she does not want to leave the new family heartbroken.
She added: "He was my favourite pet ever.
"My children are teenagers now and they understand it was the right thing to do. The new family have young children and wouldn't understand what was happening.
"He is happy and healthy and I simply can’t take him away from a family who love him, no matter how much I want him home."