Missing ginger cat Poldi going home after 15-year absence
A stray cat missing for 15 years in the Munich area of southern Germany is to be reunited with his lady owner, the city's animal sanctuary says.
The emaciated ginger tom was found in woods about 30km (19 miles) from the city.
Staff at the sanctuary said they were able to identify the cat as Poldi, reported missing since 1996, by a number tattooed on the ear.
The owner had reportedly given up all hope of seeing the cat again.
Cats rarely live beyond the age of 15, but there have been cases of some reaching 30.
The missing cat was taken in as a stray after being found sitting on a log in a forest near the village of Aying, by Kilian Schoettel, 19, the Muenchener Abendzeitung local daily reports.
"My son immediately noticed that the animal was quite old. He felt sorry for it because it no longer had any front teeth," Kilian's father Bernhard Schoettel told the paper.
"The tom was very trusting. We fed him for a few days and discovered that he was tattooed, so we took him to the animal sanctuary over the weekend," he said.
Eveline Kosenbach, of the Munich animal sanctuary, said she was able to match the faded tattoo to an entry in the sanctuary's records of missing animals, and retrieve the owner's name and address.
She told the Abendzeitung the owner was dumbfounded upon being told the news.
"The lady simply no longer had any hope of Poldi turning up again."
The owner believes Poldi ran away because he did not get on with her other cat, according to Ms Kosenbach.