Hey Buddy, where did you get to? | PHOTOS

CAT lover Dan Watkins never thought he would lay eyes again on Buddy, his best mate, who had been missing for about a year.

The black domestic short-hair cat disappeared about a week before the disability pensioner had to move to Wodonga because his rented property at Barwidgee, near Myrtleford, was being sold.

Amazingly, cat and owner were reunited yesterday after a farmer came across the microchipped cat about 10 kilometres from Mr Watkins’ former home.

“I couldn’t stop smiling,” Mr Watkins said.

“We picked him up from the pound in Bright and I reckon I smiled all the way home.

“Buddy’s leaner now, not as much fat on him.

“He used to spend his days sitting next to me on the couch, but over the past year he would have been chasing after his meals.

“He will be getting plenty of food tonight.”

Mr Watkins said aside from his weight, Buddy had not changed a bit.

“He came straight up to me and rubbed against my leg,” he said.

“He recognised my smell and my voice.”

Buddy was wearing his same collar.

“He’s enjoying sitting on the couch again,” Mr Watkins said.

“Now that he’s back with me, I won’t let him out of my sight.”

Alpine Council manager of development services and amenity Nick Vlahandreas said the touching story proved microchipping worked.

“I encourage people to microchip and also register their pet as early as possible,” he said.

“We have a large success rate in returning microchipped animals.”