A MISSING moggy has turned up after six years – after having been living only five streets away.

When Amy Turnbull received a letter from the Lawn Veterinary Surgery on Tuesday to tell her that they had her cat Allsort, who went missing on her 28th birthday in September 2003, she was shocked.

Although the seven-year-old black cat had been microchipped, Amy, of Percy Street, Rodbourne, had long given up hope of ever seeing him again.

“It’s the most random thing that’s ever happened to me – I do have a tendency for random things to happen,” said Amy, 33.

“I was a bit shell-shocked when I first heard.

“It’s crazy – he was only two minutes’ walk away.”

Amy has since been told that Allsort has been staying with an elderly gentleman in Bruce Street who had moved into sheltered accommodation and could no longer keep his two cats.

Staff at the vet surgery contacted the last known owner, Amy, when the identity chip was discovered after Allsort’s foster carer took him in to be checked over.

“They asked if I wanted him back, I said ‘yes please’,” said Amy, who collected her pet that same evening.

“Knowing that he was actually OK, I couldn’t not get him back – he had to come home, I couldn’t just leave him.”

When Allsort first disappeared, Amy, who is a quality control manager at Chelsea Broking Services in Little London Court, Old Town, and her then partner Shaun McCran distributed flyers.

She said she had felt guilty because Allsort had gone missing overnight and he was her first cat.

“I was absolutely devastated because Allsort was more my cat anyway,” she said.

“He used to wake me up in the morning by licking my face.

“Walking round the streets trying to find him was horrible – we assumed the worst.”

To make matters worse Allsort’s brother Werthers then died of a heart attack on Amy’s 31st birthday.

Though Allsort, renamed ‘Fluffy’, has gained some weight, he was recognisable to Amy straight away by the slightly brownish tint to his fur, which is where he gets his name from because it looks like the inside of a liquorice allsort.

Allsort, who has been kept inside since coming home, now has to come to terms with his owner’s new cat, two-year old Astrid.

Though Amy said she would urge other people that take in cats to always check they are not chipped, she said she was glad that Allsort had been a companion to its interim owner, whom she believed had lost his wife several years ago.

“I believe that everything happens for a reason,” said Amy.

“The fact that he could bring some comfort is a reward for the discomfort I felt and he really took care of the cat. It helped him get through it, by all accounts, and that fact that Allsort brought someone some happiness in that time is brilliant.”