A WIDOWER is overjoyed after being reunited with his pet cat – 13 MONTHS after she went missing on Christmas Day in 2011.

Granddad Harold Tongue described the return of ten-year-old Pebbles as a “mini-miracle”.

The 77-year-old had called off his search and had given up all hope of ever seeing his beloved pet again.

Harold had been devastated by her disappearance and searched for her for months before accepting she was lost for good.

So he was in shock when he received a call from the RSPCA centre in Wallasey last week telling him Pebbles had been found safe and well.

She had been traced to her owner thanks to a microchip implant.

Harold, a former clerical officer for the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, said: “I was absolutely devastated when Pebbles just disappeared over a year ago and we looked for her for so long.

“In the end, I gave up and thought she might have been killed by a fox.

“She used to spend most of her time up at stables my wife Anthea and I owned.

“Pebbles made sure the mice were kept in check so when she went, the place felt so empty.

“Anthea and I kept pets for years and we especially loved cats. Pebbles was a true character in her own right and she would tolerate people only on her terms until she found something more interesting.

“I was over the moon when I heard she’d turned up and couldn’t wait to pick her up.

“To me it was a mini-miracle.”

Harold, who lives at Neston, was told how Pebbles had been living on an industrial estate in nearby Prenton and a local couple had discovered her.

And the grandfather-of-two credits Pebbles’ “courageous personality” with helping her survive on her own.

He added: “When I got Pebbles in 2005, she was semi-feral so was used to looking out for herself.

“I think that if she was just a normal house cat, she would never have survived out there on her own, but she’s a very tough customer!

“I am forever grateful to the people who found her and would certainly recommend micro-chipping to all pet owners.”