© Provided by Evening Standard
A cat has been reunited with his gobsmacked owners three years after he went missing.
Biscuit, vanished from the Bigland family home in Cambridgeshire at Christmas time in 2017.
The fluffy 14-year-old originally belonged to the mother of Keith Bigland, 53, who was left distraught by the disappearance.
But last Wednesday he and his wife Su received a call from a local vet to say their long-lost pet had been handed in after being spotted just a mile from their house. © Provided by Evening StandardBiscuit - also known as Bikkit - has settled back in nicely (PA)
"I still can't quite believe it, I had totally given up hope, we never thought the call would come, Mr Bigland said.
"When he arrived at our house my wife threw her arms around the vet in relief.
"It's funny because as far as we know he could have been right around the corner the whole time, or miles away, we just don't know where he's been.
"What makes it even more special is that Biscuit was handed in just a few days after the third anniversary of my mother's death, which makes you wonder if she's watching over us." © Provided by Evening StandardMr Bigland described Biscuit as 'the last link I have left to my mother' (PA)
Biscuit, who is nicknamed Bikkit by the family, was captured on CCTV fleeing the home at 4am on December 1 2017.
Mr Bigland confessed he probably went "overboard" during the "frantic" search, distributing posters and scouring the area despite a disability which affects his balance and co-ordination.
"I had hope at first, for months afterwards I was calling his name around every corner and looking into every bush," he explained.
"Biscuit is the last link I have left to my mother, which made it all the more worrying, but he was a feral cat before she took him in, so I thought he may have that natural survival instinct." © Provided by Evening StandardBiscuit is now recovering happily at home (PA)
On his return Biscuit "was not in great shape" and was found to have problems with his breathing and heart.
Mr Bigland estimates that Biscuit's veterinary costs will be around £1,500, and has launched a GoFundMe page to help foot the bill.
He added: "Although he looks and acts differently to before I recognised him straight away and he recognised me and hasn't stopped purring since.
"He's starting to recover now and at his older age I hope to spend more years with him - we have no kids, and my wife says our cats are our children, we're a family."