A wandering Angus kitty with a penchant for potatoes is safely back home for the start of 2019 after becoming a tattie harvester stowaway for the third time.
In his longest spell away from his rural home near Arbroath, 12-year-old Oliver went AWOL for five months.
His latest seasonal sojourn saw him disappear for two months, but the meandering moggy was reunited with his owner thanks to Cats Protection being able to take him back home for new year after scanning the details on his microchip.
Oliver’s taste for adventure has always coincided with harvest time at the farm next door to his rural home in Carmyllie.
His owner, John Preston, said: “Oliver’s jaunts started seven years ago when he went missing for five months.
“We were distraught and had almost given up hope of ever seeing him again when we heard from Cats Protection that he had been found.
“He’s a friendly cat but quite timid with people he doesn’t know, so we think the reason it takes a while for him to be identified is that it takes him time to trust people enough to let them get close to him.”
In 2013, Oliver went missing for a few weeks before being returned home.
It was then hoped that his wandering days were behind him, until he disappeared again last October.
John feared his beloved pet may have had his chips, but Oliver was back home to lie in front of the fire to see out the festive season after being found in Arbroath.
John said: “Even though this was the third time Oliver had gone missing, it doesn’t make it any less worrying.
“As the weeks go by you do start to fear the worst, so we are incredibly happy to have him home safely again, particularly in time for Christmas and New Year.’
Sharyn Wood, co-ordinator of Cats Protection’s Arbroath and Carnoustie branch, said: “This is a great example of just how important it is for cats to be microchipped.
“Cats Protection takes in thousands of stray cats each year and sadly many of them are never reunited with their owners, despite our best efforts.
“We’d love all cats to be chipped to ensure many more happy reunions.”
Cats Protection is calling for microchipping to be made compulsory for owned cats in the UK and highlighted the demand as a priority in its 2022 Agenda for Cats, which was released in May 2017 ahead of the general election, urging politicians from all parties to support measures to protect cats from abandonment, harm and neglect.