Missing cat Dexter back home after 11 years — and he's found just a mile away

A blind moggy has been reunited with his loving family after 11 years — and was found just a mile from home.

Julie Gibbons, 56, was ‘completely stunned’ when she had a phone call out of the blue that Dexter was safe.

She had given up hope of ever seeing him again.

She adopted five-year-olds Dexter and his sister Daisy in 2010 and was easing them into life at their new home.

After four weeks they were allowed into the garden to get familiarised with their surroundings.

But Dexter climbed a fence and ran off, and the family began a frantic search.

They spent weeks fruitlessly looking for their pet at all hours of the day and night.

As he was microchipped, Julie thought he would one day find his way back, but hope faded as the years passed.

That was until she had the ‘shock of her life’ when a vet rang to tell her Dexter had been found.

Julie, from Warrington, Lancashire, said: ‘It was devastating when we lost him, we’d only just adopted him and were so excited.

‘We searched high and low but couldn’t find him. He was microchipped so we hoped we’d find him that way.

‘But there was no sign of him and that was it.

‘You just hope he found somewhere good to live. Or someone would find him and take him to the vet.

‘We spent weeks going out at different times to see if we could find him, even in the middle of the night. But you have to give up eventually.

‘That was the last we heard of it until a vet called to say a cat registered to our address was found.

‘I was stunned. I couldn’t believe it. He was living about a mile from where we live.

‘He was so close but so far.’

A couple saw him outside their house and were worried he looked unsteady on his feet.

The following morning he was curled up outside so they took him in before arranging an appointment with a vet.

It was there they discovered that Dexter was totally blind.

NHS manager Julie said: ‘We don’t know what happened to him out there, but he’s blind now.

‘He’s bumping into furniture and goes about slowly but he’s very gentle.’

The mum-of-two added: ‘We’re amazed and overjoyed to have him back with us.

‘The fact he’s lived till 16 is amazing, he’s so resilient. To have him back after all this time, it’s unbelievable.

‘We’re going to let him have a nice quiet life.

‘It’s not going to be easy but we’re just happy we’re all together.’

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