Cat missing for seven years found 300 yards from home

This is the moment a woman was told her missing cat had been found after almost seven years - 300 yards down the road Stephanie Barstow had bought Duke, a Bengal, in May 2015. But he then vanished in January 2017 and, after months of angst, she gave up hope of ever finding him. So she was shocked when a local vet knocked on her door last month - and told her Duke had been found. The vet told Stephanie the cat was discovered in a factory just 300 yards from her house in Corby, Northants. Executive assistant Stephanie, 35 said: “When I first opened the door, I thought it was a debt collector or someone like that, because she asked me to confirm my name – I was panicking. "But she was a vet. “She asked me if I was the owner of a cat called Duke – I couldn’t believe it. She told me that he had been found just 300 yards away from my home at a factory. “I was absolutely shocked - I just completely broke down.” Stephanie had bought Duke and his brother Nero when they were six weeks old, after having her first child. She enjoyed owning them, and was left devastated when Duke disappeared. Stephanie said: “I’m not completely sure why Duke didn’t come home that night. "I just remember he had a little bit of a fight with Nero and I knew something was not quite right. We had just had the baby too, so there was a lot of change going on and I know cats don’t really like change. I got very depressed and stressed about it. "I was scared because one of the neighbour’s cats had been killed by a fox at the time – I thought he might have been in danger." She began intensively searching around her neighbourhood with family and five people in her local area, including in a nearby woodland area, knocking on houses and leaving posters. But after eight months of searching, and with no reported sightings of Duke, Stephanie gave up the search – but always remained hopeful that he would return one day. And she was at home on December 21 when the vet knocked on her door - and told her Duke had been found in a nearby factory. The moment she was told was captured on her Ring doorbell. Stephanie said that since Duke was initially micro-chipped, the contact number she provided at the time was now incorrect and that she had not updated the number to her new one. She said: “Luckily enough though, the vet had recognised Duke because of his distinctive facial markings and white paws, and had remembered that I was looking for him! “She tried ringing the number assigned to the microchip and it didn’t work, so she drove straight to my house instead! “The vet told us that Duke had been taken in by staff at the factory all this time. "They had even built him a little shed to sleep in and a feeding station. But they since had to bring him to the vet as it was no longer safe at the factory for him.” After Duke had been found, Stephanie had to make a decision about whether to bring him home.