An Albury resident has a message of hope to the owners of lost pets after her cat was returned to her after five years of mysterious absence - all thanks to his microchip.
Emily Grealy's cat Marley was not even two years old when he went missing.
"One day he just disappeared and we were looking for him for quite some time," Ms Grealy said.
"We were checking the pound and everything and we thought we'd just never see him again.
"I didn't know what had happened, we thought maybe because we lived behind a paddock, we thought maybe a snake had got him or something."
Five years later, long after Ms Grealy had given up searching for her beloved pet, she received a phone call from the Albury Animal Care Centre.
"They just said, 'we've picked up your cat Marley, give us a call'," she said.
"I was shocked.
"I gave them a call the next day and I was like 'is he alive? is he fine?' and then I told them the story."
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Ms Grealy said her sister had tagged her in an online post two months ago about a person who's cat came back eight years later.
"I thought 'oh well that's not me', but then it did happen and I rang her after I found out and I was like this actually happened!" she said.
"If he had of gone to the pound and not been microchipped he would have probably found a new home or something else if no one wanted him, but because he was microchipped and my number was still up to date, they got in contact with me.
"Now I've got a family member who's come back.
"There's always hope, I guess, if you've lost your cat, just keep your details up to date and microchipped and they could come back."
Ms Grealy doesn't know what Marley got up to in his absence, but she has a few ideas.
"Maybe someone's been feeding him or something, he's too nice, he's too cuddly, too friendly to have been on his own this whole time," she said.
"He comes to his name, which is weird, I didn't expect that.
"I'm confused about what he's done this whole time, but he seems to be happy.
"Everyone's saying it's a Christmas miracle."
For information on pet microchipping go here.
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