A CHRISTMAS miracle has brought a prodigal cat home to its family more than two years after it went missing.

Sooty was a happy and contented cat but he strayed too far from the Geddes family home on Maes-y-dre Avenue, Flint and went missing in September 2008.

As many cats do Sooty went for a wander on a previous occasion and returned after 10 days, but this time the family were not so lucky.

After weeks of searching the streets and calling nearby vets and the police, the Geddes family finally accepted they would never see Sooty again.

Rhian, 7, and Michael, 12, were so heartbroken that Ann and Andy tried to convince the children Sooty had found a new family to live with, despite secretly fearing the worst.

And to help them move on they bought a rescue dog, a labrador cross called Ozzie, from Capricorn Dog Rescue just in time for Christmas two years ago.

Needless to say the family could not believe their eyes when, on Monday evening, they heard Sooty’s unmistakable cry and saw him sitting on the pavement outside their house.

Ann said: “I was in complete shock, it’s absolutely amazing.

“I didn’t dare believe it at first but it’s definitely him – I recognised the little grey hairs he has hiding in his coat and as soon as I looked in his eyes I knew.

“He’s got a glazed eye, probably from fighting other cats, and his claws, teeth and coat were in a pretty bad state so the vet’s bill was pretty big but I don’t care so long as he’s back with us.”

The family are over the moon to have their beloved pet home for Christmas and, according to Ann, Sooty seems pretty happy about the situation as well.

She said: “We’ve let him out into the garden a few times but he made no signs of running away and he ran straight over to our shed which was his old den.

“Rhian and Michael are chuffed, and my eldest Andrew who’s working down in South Wales at the moment can’t wait to come home tomorrow to see him – Sooty was bought for him when he was little.”

“I used to have dreams about Sooty coming back, I just can’t believe it’s actually happened. I’ve got tears in my eyes just talking about it.”

Sooty’s return may well bring hope to other families who have lost their furry friends as it follows the recovery of Lucy, the British bulldog, who was stolen from owner Margaret Williams in Dobshill just a few days ago, and the reunion of a ginger tom called Skippy with owners Jack and Joyce Povey from Llay back in June.