Boy, 5, bursts into tears after spotting his beloved missing cat in rescue centre after going to find new pet

A five-year-old boy had a tearful reunion with his long-lost cat after spotting it at a rescue centre where he had gone to find a new pet.

Ronnie Cockroft had gone to the Cats Protection centre in Derbyshire to pick a new pet with his mum when they spotted the family pet Phoenix, who had disappeared 18 months ago.

"We couldn't believe what happened, it was amazing," Ronnie's mother Michelle Humber said.

Ronnie pictured with Phoenix before the cat went missing Credit: SWNS

"He was still registered with his microchip as living at our old address and he had a little wonky ear, so all of that confirmed it was him.

"It was amazing and the children were so pleased. Ronnie saw him straightaway and was screaming and cheering with excitement.

"He became such a big part of our lives and it was amazing to welcome him back. I don't know what the odds are of what happened to us but I imagine they're pretty small."

Ronnie with his mum Michelle Credit: SWNS

Jane Thomas, deputy manager at Cats Protection’s Derby Adoption Centre, said: “We’re so delighted that Phoenix has been reunited with his owners and it happened completely by chance.

“Phoenix had recently been moved onto the homing corridor and as they walked past his pen they recognised him immediately. I couldn’t believe it when they came back to say they’d found their missing cat.

“Thanks to his microchip we were immediately able to verify he was theirs which just goes to show why it’s so important to microchip your cat and keep the details up to date should you move.”