Cat is back after going AWOL from RAF camp

PUBLISHED: 05:46 14 September 2006 | UPDATED: 09:52 24 May 2010

A FORMER veterinary nurse has been reunited with her treasured pet after four years of thinking he was dead

A FORMER veterinary nurse has been reunited with her treasured pet after four years of thinking he was dead.Claire Faulkner had not seen her cat Hughie since he went missing when she moved to her current home in Canberra Crescent on the former RAF Locking camp in 2002.The eight-year-old grey tom got hit by a car on a roundabout near Locking Castle recently and ended up at the nearby Green Pastures Veterinary Centre in Moor Lane. Staff there noticed he had been microchipped but Hughie had gone missing four years ago, so it was Claire's old address that was registered on the chip.Michelle Cox, a veterinary nurse at the centre where he was being cared for, set off on a mission to track down his owner. She knocked on all the doors in Charlock Road in Locking Castle, where Claire used to live, until she found a neighbour who was able to contact Claire to let her know where Hughie was.Claire, aged 28, who used to work for Bridge Veterinary Surgery in Highbridge, but is now the manager at the Tesco Express store in Locking Castle, said: "When we moved to Locking Camp four years ago we took Hughie and his brother Louie with us but, after a couple of days, Hughie did a runner."I went back to our old house and phoned the RSPCA and veterinary surgeries and did everything I could to find him. But after a while I had to presume he was dead."I cried when I saw him again at the vets after four years."He and Milo, my Staffordshire Bull Terrier, used to be the best of friends and when I brought Hughie home they remembered each other instantly and they are now best friends again. Hughie's brother Louie just hissed at him."Over the last four years I think he must have lost more than one life. He walks a bit funny now too. I think he's had a rough ride while he's been away."Hughie was secretly the favourite of my partner, James Banwell, and he's pleased he's back."Our little boy Connor, who is six, is also fascinated by the new cat in the house because he doesn't remember him from before."Although Hughie suffered a broken jaw and injuries to his head when he was run over he is now on his way to making a good recovery.

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