A family who lost this cat shortly after Christmas in 2005 have been reunited with their pet exactly 14 years later after it returned home to die.
The pet named Leif, from the Scandinavian word beloved, belonged to a family in the Bavarian town of Aschaffenburg, in Germany, who only had him for a year when he suddenly vanished without a trace.
The family said they searched for him for a long time, but eventually gave up hope of ever seeing their pet again.
The family have no idea where their pet went to in the intervening years, but a year to the day later on 28th December, turned up again at Froschhausen in Hesse at a bus stop.
The couple that found him noted he was on his last legs, with fur matted and overgrown and clearly both sick and hungry. He was waiting at a bus stop.
They called the local animal charity Tierschutzverein Seligenstadt und Umgebung in nearby Seligenstadt, who collected the cat and discovered he had a tattoo in his ear that allowed them to trace the owners.
However he was only with them for a week before he died this month.
A spokesman for the charity said: “The owners were barely through the door when Leif leaped into their arms. And the happiness of his former owners as well as their 18 year old daughter was enormous.”
They added that they hoped that the cat would get better, but it never happened.
The family believe the cat knew that it was going to die, and used the last of its strength to try and find its way back home.
They say he would never have succeeded without the help from the couple who spotted him at the bus stop, and said that the one week that they had together with him was a beautiful reunion despite the tragic end.
He passed on in the care of his loved ones on 2nd January.
The story and these pictures are shared by the local animal protection organisation. They shared the pictures in the hope of piecing together the story after he vanished of where he was over the last 14 years.
They also thanked the couple that did not ignore the plight of the stricken cat, and instead raised the alarm with the correct authorities.
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