Pete the puss reunited with owners after Norfolk adventure

Parcel puss Pete is safely back with his family after accidentally hitching a cross-country van ride which took him away from home for almost a week.

DPD parcel firm driver Sean Dick, 29, of Bull Close Road, Norwich, spotted the handsome ginger tom nestling behind his passenger seat when he reached back to pick up a customer's package during a day of deliveries in north Norfolk.

But the story had a happy ending when photos of Mr Dick and Pete appeared in the Eastern Daily Press appealing for the cat's owners to come forward.

The moggy's delighted owner Liz Foster said: 'First of all I recognised my delivery driver and then I saw the other picture and there was my baby. I shouted: 'It's Pete – he's got his face in the EDP!''

Mrs Foster and her family had spent an anxious six days searching for the nine-month-old kitten who was last seen disappearing out of their home on the main A140 road at Crossdale Street, near Cromer, on October 19 as she took delivery of a package from Mr Dick.

'We've had two cats killed on the road before and when he didn't turn up after a few days we thought he was dead. 'The children were very upset,' she added.

Mr Dick had handed over the stowaway to the RSPCA who nicknamed him Walter, after the Tudor naval explorer Sir Walter Raleigh.

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Mrs Foster, 33, her children Jessica, 13, Steven, 12, and partner Martin Moss, 50, were reunited with him at a cattery in Dereham where he had been placed for safekeeping

'You should have heard him! He gave me a real telling off,' said Mrs Foster, who had spent several nights getting wet as she fruitlessly wandered the area around her home calling for Pete and shaking his box of cat biscuits.

'He's a stomach on legs so when he didn't turn up for his tea on the first day I began to worry,' she said.

Steven, who celebrated his 12th birthday on October 24 while Pete was still missing, had been subdued after his party, said Mrs Foster.

The prodigal puss made up for his absence by spending his first night home cuddled up on Steven's bed and managed to con two breakfasts the next day –- one from the children before they left for school and another from Mrs Foster later in the morning.

Mrs Foster runs her Lizzie's Crazy Cards online toys and collecting cards business from home and takes delivery of parcels from DPD about twice a week. She now plans to get Pete micro-chipped.

Insp Carrie O'Riordan, from the RSPCA, said they were delighted that 'Walter' was safely home and thanked all those involved in reuniting him with his family.

She added: 'We would always urge pet owners to get their animals micro-chipped so if they do go missing like Walter did, if we find them, we can scan them for a chip and return the beloved pets back to their owners straight away.'