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'Sailor cat' reunited with family after sea crossing

Dolly the cat with with Debs, Natasha and Annabelle
Image caption Dolly has been reunited with Debs Murphy-Latham and daughters Natasha and Annabelle

A cat who inadvertently sailed across the sea from the Isle of Wight to Dorset has been reunited with her owners after five weeks away from home.

Dolly disappeared from her home in Cowes on the Isle of Wight but turned up in a Poole marina.

She was reunited with owner Debs Murphy-Latham and daughters Natasha, 10, and Annabelle, 7, earlier.

Ms Murphy-Latham said: "It's just so brilliant. She's a real member of our family."

She received a phone call on Saturday morning that the missing moggie had been found on the mainland and believes Dolly may have hitched a ride on a cruiser moored up at Cowes and "taken herself off for Christmas and the new year".

Image caption The happy reunion took place in Southampton

She described stowaway Dolly, who the family obtained from the Cats Protection League in Ryde, as "such a fantastic little character".

"I'd quite like her to stay put this time so she might be spending a few weeks indoors just until she remembers where she lives.

"Fortunately because she was chipped the people who found her were able to take her to their vets and get her scanned and they were then able to contact me."

The three-year-old black-and-white cat was picked up by the family at Southampton's Red Jet terminal.

Ms Murphy-Latham said: "My daughters will have to peel themselves off the ceiling, they are so excited to have her back."

She said Dolly had "gone 'Awol' quite a few times before but it has always been on the island".

Image copyright Debs Murphy-Latham
Image caption Despite going missing several times before, Dolly had never ventured overseas

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