Holloway cat turns up in Clapton after 18 months missing

Marie Benoit and her cat Midnight

Marie Benoit and her cat Midnight - Credit: Archant

A missing cat has been reunited with its doting owners – one and a half years after the beloved pet disappeared.

Midnight left his owners heartbroken when he walked out of his Holloway home on September 2, 2011, and did not return.

After months putting up posters and knocking on neighbours’ doors, owner Marie Benoit and her daughter Hayley Campbell, now 16, resigned themselves to never seeing him again – though they could not bear to part with his toys.

So they were astounded when they received a call from the PDSA animal hospital in Bow, east London, to say that Midnight had turned up in a garden in Clapton.

Miss Benoit, 50, of George’s Road, said: “After a month or two, we thought we had lost him for good. ”

A kind-hearted cat lover, 75-year-old retired carer Jean Coupland of Lea Bridge Road, Clapton, had been feeding him in her garden for the past three months.

But where he was before then, and how he had got to Hackney, remains a mystery.

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Miss Benoit raced to collect Midnight, expecting to find an emaciated flea-bitten animal.

“But when we got there, he was the same old Midnight,” she said. “If anything, he was bigger – and had a shiny coat.”

She added: “We have no idea how he got to Hackney. Maybe he jumped into a car and the driver didn’t realise?”

Mrs Coupland had taken Midnight to the animal hospital, which scanned him for a microchip.

She said: “Before Christmas, this cat started wandering around crying.

‘‘He was living behind a neighbour’s shed. But the weather got really bad and my heart opened. I started feeding him every morning and evening. I was buying cat food every day.

“I had my own cat for almost two years and one night she just went missing.

“Now I know what happened to this cat, I haven’t given up hope of finding my own little cat Lily.”

Zoe Clerkin, a receptionist at the animal hospital, which helps the pets of people on benefits, said: “Cats are very good at survival – but not enough are microchipped.”