A delighted pet owner has been reunited with her beloved cat – which had been missing from home for 11 YEARS.
Eve McDonnell, 72, was left devastated after pet moggy Missy escaped from her car when she stopped to buy some milk in Birmingham on April 23, 2009.
Despite a wide-scale search Missy was never found and Eve gave up all hope of ever seeing her again.
But last week, Eve was left stunned when a cat rescue centre got in touch to say Missy had been found living on the streets eight miles away from her home.
Residents in Hall Green, Birmingham, had spotted the stray cat living among rubbish and sleeping on top of a bin where she became known locally as “the driveway cat.”
Heart-warming footage captured the moment Eve was reunited with Missy at her home in Harborne, Birmingham, on Monday (2/3) after 11 years of being apart.
Eve can be heard saying “Oh My God” and “I’m so emotional, I’m going to cry” as Missy, now 17, navigates the house for the first time in over a decade.
Retired hairdresser Eve said: “I never stopped thinking about her. You just don’t forget your pets – they are irreplaceable.
“She’s had a rough time, but she’s still my cat. I can’t believe she’s alive.”
Missy escaped when Eve drove to Five Ways in Birmingham city centre without realising her pet was asleep on the back seat after hitching a ride.
She had climbed in through the sunroof and dashed out across a busy roundabout when Eve stopped the car to go the shops.
Missy was recently spotted by Ali Shah and his mum Salma, who fed and sheltered her for several days.
The pair then took her to Little Haven Rescue in Sutton Coldfield, West Mids., on February 22.
Rescue centre owner Clare Davis, 46, took the emaciated cat to an emergency vet’s where a microchip was discovered and traced back to Eve.
She said: “I’ve never had a rescue that has been missing for so long.
“I’ve returned cats that have been missing for two or three years but ten years is pretty unbelievable.
“I’m delighted to have reunited Missy with her owner. Missy had had a terrible time living rough for all those years.
“When she escaped, it was a complete accident, she didn’t mean to take her for a ride.
“She climbed in through the sunroof, which Eve managed to close while driving along. When Eve rushed out to buy milk Missy ran out onto the island.
“She didn’t think she would live through all the busy traffic, but Missy did and must’ve walked the wrong way home.
“When she came into the centre she had to go on recovery fluids because she was so weak after going without food for three days.
“At her age it had an enormous effect on her and she was so weak there was no way she could go straight back to her owner in that state.
“She was on a knife edge and it took a week to get her back into good condition.
“When I called Eve she said to me: ‘My mind has been in a whirlwind.’ She didn’t know whether she could cope with taking her back.
“She had given up hope of finding her and had grieved her, thinking she had died.
“She was absolutely delighted to get Missy back. She had never replaced her and didn’t realise how much she was missing having a companion as she lives alone.
“But she could never bring herself to replace her.
“How Missy survived all those years is by being a typical Missy.
“She was able to fend for herself and source food. She’s a very intelligent cat and it’s a miracle she survived.
“She’d cry for food outside someone’s house and would find it naturally.
“When she came into the centre I started calling her Missy because she was a right little missy cat.
“And amazingly it turned out that was her real name.
“I told Eve and she said: ‘It was because of her personality and temperament I first named her Missy’.
“We are glad she is finally back home where she belongs after all these years.”
Gran-of-five Eve said she thought it was a prank call when the rescue centre phoned up to tell her Missy had been found.
She added: “I’m still in shock and can’t believe she’s back when I wake up in the morning.
“Missy’s still a bit nervous. She’s had a rough ride and won’t let me pick her up like I used to be able to.
“I was distraught when I lost her because it was the second cat I’d lost in five years – the other died.
“It’s a lovely story. She’s a miracle cat.
“After I got a call from the charity saying they’d found her I didn’t ring back for a couple of days.
“I thought it was a hoax.
“Then Clare rang me to fill me in on everything. It was lovely, really lovely.
“I’m delighted to have her back. It’s going to completely change my life.
“When she arrived home she went around the hall then straight on the stairs, which was always her favourite place.
“She won’t go near a door now and doesn’t go outside because she’s so old and with what she’s been through, you can’t blame her.
“She pawed and scratched me when I tried to stroke her and it’ll take a while for her to feel secure. But I’m sure we’ll get there.
“I’m just overjoyed to have her back in my life.”