Where have you been? Lowestoft cat Zillah returns home after two years missing

Ali and Nicky Stainsby-Soanes and Caleb (15months) are delighted to have Zillah the cat back home a

Ali and Nicky Stainsby-Soanes and Caleb (15months) are delighted to have Zillah the cat back home after being missing for two years. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A cat has been reunited with its owner – almost two years after she went missing in south Lowestoft.

Ali and Nicky Stainsby-Soanes and Caleb (15months) are delighted to have Zillah the cat back home a

Ali and Nicky Stainsby-Soanes and Caleb (15months) are delighted to have Zillah the cat back home after being missing for two years. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Despite being 'shocked and stunned,' delighted owners Ali and Nicky Stainsby-Soanes described how they never gave up hope that they would see seven-year-old Zillah again after she disappeared from her home in Carlton Colville in February 2013.

And now, after being reunited with their pet cat once more, Zillah is back playing with sister Molly at the family home – after being found about one-and-a-half miles away from where she vanished.

Despite putting posters up, handing out leaflets, knocking on people's doors and contacting the local vets to report the domestic tortoiseshell as missing, Ali and Nicky had no luck in finding Zillah.

But two Friday's ago, they received a call from the country cat shelter charity saying 'we have got your cat.'

Ali and Nicky Stainsby-Soanes and Caleb (15months) are delighted to have Zillah the cat back home a

Ali and Nicky Stainsby-Soanes and Caleb (15months) are delighted to have Zillah the cat back home after being missing for two years. - Credit: Nick Butcher


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Nicky Stainsby-Soanes, 41, said: 'At first I thought it was Molly who had got out.' Ali, 38, added: 'I was at work and so I called the shelter back and they said they had recognised my pet Zillah. I said 'is she alive' and when they said yes, I literally broke down – they had found my cat.'

The charity had been called by a concerned elderly couple from Pakefield, who had been caring for a cat for more than a year. Both Zillah and Molochai – known as Molly – are rescue cats, and Ali took Molly and Zillah on when they were eight-week-old kittens, about seven years ago.

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Back then, she lived in Morton Road, Pakefield – and Zillah was found just over half a mile away from where they used to live.

Recalling when Zillah went missing, Ali said: 'We put posters up, handed out some leaflets, knocked on all the doors locally and contacted the local vets – but there was just no sign of her. When Zillah first went, it was horrible – Molly did not come in and she spent most of her time outside, as it was like she was looking for her.

'Even though we stopped her pet insurance about two months ago, all the time I was still thinking she was alive. I felt she had found somewhere to stay and we never stopped looking for her.'

As well as the two cats, Ali, Nicky and son Caleb, also have five dogs, six chickens, a gerbil and a bearded dragon.

Describing what it is like to have Zillah back, Nicky said: 'I could not believe it. We are both shocked and stunned.'

Ali added: 'We phoned up the couple, Mr and Mrs Betts of Pakefield, and thanked them. It appears Zillah had been hanging about in their garden for about a year. They had been feeding her and had got a bed and cat tray for her, as they adored her.'

Now back home, Molly and her sister are back to their playful best.

'I had forgotten how long she purred,' Ali admitted. 'Zillah is still really nervous, but its just brilliant – it is like she had never been gone.'

Have you got a Lowestoft story? Email mark.boggis@archant.co.uk

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