A MISSING cat has been reunited with its owner in Shipley, an astonishing 10 YEARS after she disappeared following a routine trip to the vet.

Tilly, then aged four, was having injections at Avenue Vet Group on Bingley Road but managed to escape from her basket.

Her owner, who did not want to be named, said she had given up any forlorn hopes that the missing moggie would be seen again until the dramatic development.

Allerton Cat Rescue, which was founded over 40 years ago by dedicated pet lover Brenda Satterley was handed the microchipped pet and decided to investigate last weekend.

Ms Satterley said: "We tried ringing the former owner but got no response, so my friend and volunteer, Jean Kevan, decided to try out the address on Saturday afternoon.

"We weren't expecting much, as we assumed the woman had moved. She answered the door to my friend though and confirmed that she had lost a cat 10 years ago.

"She came in on Tuesday for it after we'd taken care of it over the weekend."

The happy reunion took place at Allerton Cat Rescue.

In a couple of remarkable coincidences, Ms Satterley said the woman had originally got the cat from Allerton Cat Rescue.

Furthermore, the woman's mother is the owner of the missing cat's brother.

Ms Satterley admitted she was astonished by both the condition of the cat and her whereabouts.

She said: "We don't know where she had been before, but the person who had been looking after her recently and brought her in found the cat just five minutes' walking distance from its owner's address.

"She's in really good physical condition given that she went missing all those years ago.

"She is very scared and nervous at the moment, which I hope isn't a problem, because the owner now has young children."

Ms Satterley is thrilled the story had a happy ending and she said: "We don't actually microchip cats here, but we tell the new owners to give it a week for the cat to settle before they get it done.

"It only costs about £15 to get cats microchipped and this case shows its worth. If this cat hadn't been chipped, we never would have got it back to her owner."