Page last updated at 15:23 GMT, Thursday, 11 September 2008 16:23 UK

Missing cat found nine years on

Gilly Delaney and Dixie
Dixie was found less than half a mile from her owner's home

A Birmingham couple are celebrating after their cat came home - nine years after going missing.

Alan and Gilly Delaney, of Ivyfield Road, Erdington, Birmingham, had not seen their pet Dixie since she disappeared in 1999.

The ginger and brown cat was picked up as a stray by the RSPCA on 24 August, less than half a mile away.

RSPCA officer Alan Pittaway said he knew who to return Dixie to because she had been fitted with a microchip.

He added: "Within half an hour of picking the cat up, I was taking her round to her stunned owners who could not believe that they were getting their cat home after giving up hope of ever seeing her again.

"It made my day to return Dixie to her owners. In 29 years of working for the RSPCA I have never seen anyone so excited and happy as Mrs Delaney."

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Dixie the cat was found half a mile away from her home

Mrs Delaney, 38, an estimator for an asset management company, said she had feared her pet was dead.

She said: "Words cannot express how overjoyed we are to have Dixie back.

"We don't think she has stopped purring since she came back through the door.

"Dixie's personality, behaviour and little mannerisms have not changed at all."

"She's lost an awful lot of weight and she was in quite a bad condition.

"She's an old cat - she just really wants to sit on the sofa and have a bit of fuss."

Mr Pittaway said he hoped the reunion would encourage more people to have their pets microchipped.




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