A FAMILY has been reunited with their cat which went missing eight years ago.

Scout the black and white cat left her home in Hartford one day in 2015 and never returned.

So needless to say her owner Rebecca Kempsey was in disbelief when she received a message on New Year’s Day saying her cat had been found.

“I didn’t really know what to think," said Rebecca, 43 and an advanced nurse practitioner.

“We thought that maybe she’d set up home somewhere else or been involved in an accident, we definitely didn’t think she would come back, not after this much time.”

Northwich Guardian: Scout went missing in 2015Scout went missing in 2015 (Image: Supplied)

But on the morning of January 1, a post was shared on the Lostock Life Facebook page, asking if anyone recognised the cat in the photo.

The team at Willowsway Cat Rescue offered to scan the feline and sure enough, the microchip was registered to a cat called Scout belonging to an R Kempsey in Hartford.

Martine Gum, a volunteer at the Northwich-based charity, found Rebecca on Facebook and got in touch to share with her their amazing discovery.

“After informing Rebecca that Scout was alive and after she had got over the shock of Scout being found after eight years, arrangements were made for Scout to return home,” Martine said.

“The challenges of cat rescue are immense but to start 2024 with such a positive has been amazing!”

Scout arrived back home on Thursday (January 4) and has settled in well, despite their being a few differences from the last time she was there.

Rebecca has two new cats and a dog, while her children are both now full-grown adults, aged 19 and 23.

“She’s really my daughter’s cat so she is absolutely beside herself that she’s home.

“She was very upset when she went missing so there’s been a few tears this week, it’s been quite emotional.”

Rebecca adopted Scout from a rescue in Warrington when she was about a year old.

Having lived with the family for about four years before she went missing, it is believed Scout is now around 13.

“We still thought about her a lot as she was always such a character,” Rebecca continued.

“It does feel kind of right that she’s back with us, things are very different but it feels nice to have her home and to be spoiling her rotten.

“I don’t know whether she remembers living with us, it would be great to know what she’s been up to all these years.

“It is certainly not how we expected to start the year!”

Northwich Guardian: Scout is now settling back into life at homeScout is now settling back into life at home (Image: Supplied)

Willowsway Cat Rescue is a small registered charity which seeks to help unwanted and stray cats.

They also assist owners who cannot afford necessary veterinary treatments for their cats.

The charity relies solely on donations and anyone who wishes to support their work is urged to drop off cat food, litter or potential raffle prizes for their fundraisers at one of their drop-off points in Lostock, Weaverham, Leftwich and Sandiway.