A family from Stretton has been left stunned after being reunited with their beloved cat which went missing for THREE weeks.
Smudge, who is nine, had been missing from his home off Athlestan Way since October 27.
He was let out as usual but failed to come back when he was called at around midnight.
Owner Rea Reynolds and her family searched tirelessly for Smudge, putting up posters, handing out leaflets, searching neighbours' houses and even paying for Facebook promotion to get the word out about the missing moggy.
Three weeks later, on Saturday, November 18, Rea was about to give up hope when a local jogger said he had spotted Smudge near De Ferrers Academy Trent Campus in St Mary’s Drive, Burton.
Rea and her family rushed to the estate where he was last seen and called for Smudge down every street. Just as they were about to give up and head home, the cat appeared between two shipping containers in a nearby car park.
Rea, 29, said: "I just couldn't believe it.
"I'm so shocked. He’s trying to get out now, but we're not letting him. He's scratching at the door!
"We want to thank whoever has been feeding him; there were tins nearby where he was found. We're just so happy."
Smudge is fit and healthy according to vets – despite losing a little weight.
Rea said she is looking into purchasing him a GPS collar in case he decides to go walkabout again in the future.