A cat owner is over the moon after her moggy was miraculously returned almost nine months after he went missing.

Isabel René was devastated after black short-haired cat Gus went missing in August from her home in Woolstone Road, Catford.

The 36-year-old mum spent weeks distributing missing posters and recruiting locals to hunt for the four-year-old pet to no avail.

But on Sunday - eight-and-a-half months since Gus went missing - Isabel received a phone call from the RSPCA, which had found the moggy just a mile from home.

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Isabel, who works as a freelance journalist, said: "After he went missing in August, we went to look for him but nothing came of it, so we assumed he wasn't coming back.

"Out of the blue yesterday, I got a phone call from the RSPCA saying they'd found him.

"Somebody said there'd been a cat on Catford Broadway that didn't look like it should be there, so the RSPCA scanned his microchip and brought him back.

"I was in Sainsbury's when they phoned and I just burst into tears.

"They said they could bring him home within ten minutes so I just left my husband and baby in the shop and dashed home.

"I think Natasha Wallis, the RSPCA inspector, might've thought I was a bit nuts, I hugged her when I saw them.

"God knows where he's been - I think someone must've been feeding him because he's actually put on weight since he's been gone.

"He's just been to Vets4Pets in Sydenham and is absolutely fine, just a bit scruffy looking with a couple of flea bites."

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Gus has now been returned to Isabel, James, 34, and son Raphael, 22 months, who also own Gus's sister Dolly.

They have owned the cats for three years, but neither had strayed far before Gus went missing.

Isabel added: "We've had them for three years but never went far, they always hung around our street.

"I'm not sure what happened, maybe he followed us one day, but it's amazing to have him back.

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"He won't leave me alone, he's been ridiculously affectionate and he spent last night on my shoulder purring all the time.

"Dolly was pleased to see him too, they nuzzled and you could tell they knew each other when he came back.

"She's keeping a bit of distance but they seem happy.

"It's amazing, he keeps going to all the places in the house he used to like sitting, like under Raphael's high chair for food.

"He's acting like he's just been gone for a couple of days."

Isabel is now encouraging other pet owners to get their animals microchipped in case they go missing too.

She said: "It's really important to get your pets microchipped - a lot of people dismiss it and think there's no point but they wouldn't have found Gus without it.

"We got them from the Celia Hammond Rescue Centre as kittens and they routinely chip the cats there.

"We moved house a couple of years ago but luckily updated the details, which meant they could immediately find out who Gus belonged to.

"If the RSPCA had just found him with no chip, it's unlikely we would have got him back."