A kitten that went missing has been reunited with its owner after nine years.
Spike was just three months old when Victoria Roberts let him out into her back garden in Northfields in Leicester with his sister Ruby in 2010.
They both disappeared but last month a concerned resident 15 miles away in Shepshed contacted the RSPCA about a stray who had been seen in the area.
A quick scan of Spike by a vet discovered a microchip linked to Victoria's address.
Victoria, 36, who lives with her husband Danny and works as a nurse, said the discovery came as a huge shock.
We were also surprised he was found about 15 miles away from where he went missing and assume he may have hitched a ride in a car or someone took him but then didn’t want him. It is amazing to think he survived all these years outside and apart from an eye infection, which was treated, appeared in good health.
Spike’s sister Ruby was sadly killed in a road accident and, again, the microchip under her fur allowed news of her death to get back to Victoria and she was worried something similar had happened to Spike.
However Spike was alive and well and despite his time living on the streets he is now settling in back at home with Victoria and Danny.
The number of cats brought into rescue centres in England and Wales in 2018
Microchips are permanent and a simple scan by a vet brings up contact details for the animal’s owner.
Although they are required by law for dogs, there is no such requirement for cats.
New figures show that of the 5,171 cats which were brought into the 17 national rescue centres in England and Wales last year, less than 20% were chipped.