A British cat that disappeared in 2001 last week reappeared to spend the last few days of its lift with its ‘former’ owner prior to being put down because of ill health.

Phoebe, owned by Christine Ball of Nantwich in the rural country of Cheshire in northern England was found in a farmer’s field just a few miles south of the town earlier in March.

Very poorly when found, the local RSPCA – Britain’s leading animal welfare authority – traced her original owner and reunited the cat with Mrs. Ball, now 59, before both owner and the RSPCA made the decision to put her out of her misery.

A check up after she was found revealed an inoperable brain tumor according to reports.

Phoebe had been two years of age when she vanished in 2001, but to have survived for the past two decades it is believed she was adopted by another family before again becoming a stray just before being found in the field.

A microchip implanted as a kitten allowed her to be traced.

Mrs. Ball said to local media “The vet said she wouldn’t have survived 20 years as a stray and we think someone probably took her in and cared for her as their pet,”  adding that when she first went missing her searches drew a blank but that she was “absolutely gobsmacked when (we) got a phone call from the RSPCA to say they had found (Phoebe)”.

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