A Leven family has received the purrfect surprise present just in time for Christmas.
Mandy Hynd (38) had long given up hope of ever being reunited with her cat, Alfie, who went missing four years ago when she lived in Kennoway.
However, on Friday afternoon a picture of a cat handed in to Kingdom Vets was forwarded to Mandy by her ex-husband - one that she recognised immediately.
“He messaged me an image of this advert from the vets,” she said.
“He thought it looked a lot like Alfie. I phoned the vets and told them the story.
“I went in on Sunday to confirm everything and it was definitely him.
“I’m in disbelief that it’s him. Who finds a cat after four years?
She added: “The kids are over the moon because they never forgot about him. He was still getting brought up in conversations. My daughter knew straight away that it was him.”
Mandy recalled the circumstances surrounding his disappearance.
“I had two cats – Sam and Alfie – through a friend,” she explained.
“I already had two female cats. I remember he was about one-year-old I and was getting ready to take him to be dressed.
“That’s when he decided to go on the run. We never saw him go.”
Despite Mandy’s best attempts to find Alfie, she eventually had to move on.
She said: “I put adverts in the shops and posted it on Facebook. Nothing ever came of it. I didn’t think much of it at first – it’s quite common for male cats to go wandering.
“Since then my life moved on. I just moved house earlier this year.”
Although Mandy and the vets have no idea of where Alfie has been for the last four years, it’s clear he’s had a tough time.
She said: “He’s got half an ear and his fang has gone through his top lip. It looks like he’s had a hard life.”
Alfie has been brought back home as the Hynd household prepare for the festive season.
And, while Mandy is jubilant at being able to bring Alfie home after four years away, she doesn’t know how he’ll settle back in.
He’ll return to a house with three cats – Sam, Meemee and Ash – and one dog, Archie, who is a recent addition to the household.
“I’m apprehensive about how he’ll fit in because he’s been away for so long and he’s now an adult cat,” she said.
“His brother is so much like him – but Sam is the man of the house.
“You wonder if they’ll remember each other. They were so close.
“He used to be really placid – so laid back he’d fall over. He was my cat, my boy. He slept on my bed every night. He never ventured very far.”