It was a mystery that a pet owner thought would never be solved.
For years she had wondered what had happened to her cat.
Why Oscar vanished from his home and left his comfortable lifestyle with good food and a warm bed behind had remained an unsolved question for eight years.
But then she received the call she had been waiting for to find he had been picked up as a stray only miles away in a Hampshire supermarket car park.
Staff at the Southampton Blue Cross animal shelter were left stunned when they tracked down his owner through his microchip and heard the story of just how long he had been missing.
Oscar had disappeared from his home in the Hedge End area eight years earlier.
He was found wandering in the Sainsbury’s supermarket car park in Tollbar Way, Hedge End.
Now the centre is urging people that find a lost animal to make sure they get it checked for a microchip to prevent such incidents in future.
Lara Alford, Blue Cross rehoming centre manager for the centre, in Bubb Lane, West End, said: “Oscar’s owner was very surprised when we called her, as she had obviously given up hope of ever finding him a long time ago.
“It’s a complete mystery where he’s been all these years – we’d love to know what he’s been up to!”
Unfortunately, Oscar’s owner now owns two other cats and was sadly unable to take him back.
She signed him over to Blue Cross, so they could find him a new home and he has now gone to a new family in Fareham.
The centre stressed the importance of having your p e t microchipped as so many animals go missing every year.
Ms Alford said: “It is really important to get your pet microchipped in case they get lost, but it’s equally important to get stray or lost animals scanned to check for a chip.
“If someone had scanned Oscar, he might have been reunited with his original owner years ago and saved a lot of heartache.”
Blue Cross rehoming centres offer free microchipping.
To find out more call 0300 777 1530 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.