A woman who lost her cat 14 years ago has finally been found after being found just down the street in a factory.
Ruth Armstrong from Hinckley in Leicestershire said she was “overwhelmed” when contacted by the RSPCA on Thursday to say that her pet, Elsa, had been found.
She was picked up by rescuers after concerned staff at a Nutts Lane factory called the animal welfare charity about a stray cat that had a lump on its head.
The black and white cat was only two years old when she went missing in 2007.
Recalling the moment her pet went missing, Ms Armstrong said, “She was spending increasingly longer periods outside the house.
“Then one day she walked in, grass on the couch and was gone forever.”
She said: “We searched for her for a very, very long time, but eventually, over the years, I thought she wouldn’t come back.
“I had kept my hopes up that she had found a warm home.”
However, it turned out that Elsa lived within the factory compound.
Staff said they saw the cat hanging out at the site for a few years and kindly fed it.
However, this time, they called the RSPCA when they noticed she had a lump on her head and an open sore on her left side.
Elsa was taken to Parkvet in Glenfield for treatment, and when the vet scanned her microchip he saw Ruth’s address.
Elsa’s owner began documenting her progress on YouTube:
Ms Armstrong said she was “delighted, upset and shocked” by the news of Elsa’s return.
She said: “I still can’t believe it. She has a big tumor on her side that vets think is cancerous.
“But I’m just thankful that she was taken off the streets just before the cold snap. With her age, I’m not sure she would have survived – the timing was just amazing.”
Ms. Armstrong started a crowdfunding campaign in hopes of raising money to cover Elsa’s medical bills.
“Elsa’s story is just amazing,” she said.
“The vet said he had never heard of such a thing. If she hadn’t had her microchip, I would never have seen her again,” she added.