A BELOVED pet cat has been reunited with his owners after being missing for four years.
Thomas, a pure white kitten at the time, disappeared from his home in 2007, leaving his owners Malcolm and Anita Lucas, along with their 14-year-old disabled son Nathan, heartbroken.
The family searched tirelessly for days, but gave up all hope of ever seeing Thomas again after being told by neighbours’ children that they believed their pet had been killed.
Now, however, Thomas is back from what Malcolm and Anita feared was the dead and is reunited with his family.
He is now living in the Lucases’ home in Monkhouse Avenue, North Shields, with fellow cats Lily and Bobby, as well as Nathan and his sisters Stacey and Lisa, both 18, and brother Daniel, 15.
It was not until Lily went missing last week that the family spotted Thomas on the RSPCA’s website for rescued pets.
Lily turned up again at the family’s house a few days later looking a little underweight but otherwise none the worse for her absence – and her return was all the more welcome because it brought about Thomas’s homecoming too.
Mr Lucas said: “Coming home and seeing Thomas again was absolutely fantastic.
“He still responds to his name, and he has the same personality and mannerisms.
“He still knows when it’s our bedtime, and he sits on our bed and waits for us.”
“We lived in Throckley at the time, and we were told by some kids nearby that they had seen Thomas get killed, so we rang the council and the RSPCA to see if anyone had picked up any dead cats.
“We just gave up all hope.”
The RSPCA looked after Thomas at its kennels in Hazelrigg after he was found wandering around with a leg injury in August last year.
Where he had been between 2007 and then remains a mystery, however.
Mr Lucas, a full-time carer for Nathan, said: “I would like to thank the RSPCA for what they have done for Thomas.
“We don’t know how badly injured he was, but for him to be in such good condition when we got him back is great. I cannot thank the RSPCA enough.”