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Legendary author Thomas Wolfe once wrote that you can't go home again, but clearly Tom had never met Fergus the cat.
Fergus is a tabby cat from the Scottish town of Forres. He'd been living his life as an indoor/outdoor cat with his human, Fiona Mutter for almost four years before he went missing back in 2010.
"He was always prone to wandering and would sometimes go off for a few days at a time," Mutter told the BBC. "But one day he just never came back. We sadly assumed something had happened to him."
Whatever exactly happened to Fergus over the next 11 years is probably always going to be a mystery. But what is known is that Fergus was found, alive and well, this month. Not only was he seemingly healthy and fit, but he was also some 80 miles away from Mutter. The tabby was found in Aberdeen, where he was picked up by a volunteer for Cats Protection, after the organization received a tip about a seemingly stray cat living around a recycling center. The volunteer scooped Fergus up and the nonprofit was able to scan his microchip, which led them back to Mutter.
"To hear that he was still alive and had ended up so far away was such a shock," Mutter said. "His coat is so shiny, and he's so friendly, that there's no way he has been living outside all this time. Someone has been taking good care of him."
Once he was returned to Mutter, Fergus was placed in a spare bedroom so he could get acclimated to the smell and sound of Ozzy, Mutter's other family cat. Soon though, Fergus was out and about, happy to be back with his family and content to curl up and receive some love and attention.
Fergus' story had a happy ending thanks in no small part to his microchip, but Mutter knows that the reunion couldn't have happened without the work of organizations who specialize in reuniting animals with their families.
"We are extremely grateful to the Cats Protection volunteer who went above and beyond to get Fergus home."