A mother-of-three was reunited with her cat who had been missing for eight months - after recognising his meow during a phone call.
Rachael Lawrence, of Braintree in Essex, said she heard a familiar meow in the background when she rang the vet to check on her other cat, 11-month-old Torvi, who was in for a procedure.
The 40-year-old said she asked if it was Torvi meowing but was told: “No, that’s just a stray we had brought in a week ago."
"I cried. I'm talking snot bubble cries. I was howling," said Ms Lawrence.
Her older cat Barnaby, who is almost two years old, went missing last year.
Ms Lawrence said she called the vet back “a couple of hours” after first hearing the meow, adding: “It was just bugging me because I recognised the meow.”
She said she asked if the cat was black and was told yes, then asked if he had a white patch on one of his back feet and was also told yes.
Ms Lawrence brought photos of Barnaby, given the nickname Fatman by his family, when she went to collect Torvi and said she “knew it was him” as soon as they brought him into the room.
“We hadn’t seen him for eight months," she said.
Ms Lawrence said she video-called her three children Be, 12, Joshua, 11, and Amalie, seven.
“I just said, ‘Look who I’ve found’,” she said. “They went, ‘Oh, my god, it’s Barney. It’s Fatman!’ They were really happy.”
She added: “He’s back home where he should be. He’s getting on so well.”
Ms Lawrence said Barnaby had “loads of scabs and he’s all skinny and missing fur” – but was “more than happy to be picked up and cuddled”.
She added: “We just need to fatten him up to get him back to Fatman!”
Ms Lawrence said she had paid to have Barnaby chipped before he went missing but “it clearly wasn’t done properly”.