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Dunedin cat finds his way home four years after disappearing

A cat has returned to his family four years after his disappearance from his home in Dunedin. 

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Tana ran away after the death of his owner Sam. Source: Seven Sharp

Tana was re-homed four years ago following the death of his owner, Sam.

"It was like a double grief, losing Sam and then re-homing Tana and he escaped about three days later," owner Bridget Hayes told Seven Sharp. "We searched and searched with fliers." 

The family were overjoyed when Tana came home or, as it turns out, never really left. 

Ms Hayes said she never thought she would get Tana back following his escape. 

"We didn't know what had become of him after I re-homed him," she said.

Tana was found when a friend saw he was up for adoption at the SPCA after being found as a stray "wandering in the same street as he went missing from".

Ms Hayes said she went to the shelter "the very next day and there's no question it's him alright". 

"He just came straight home with me." 

She said she didn't know what Tana had gotten up to in the time he was away, adding, "He was living life as a scarfie down on the university campus so who knows what he's seen or what parties he's been to, whether he's been to the Hyde Street party." 

Ms Hayes' daughter, Cathryn Morton, said she was "just as happy" to see Tana back at home. 

"He's just a cat, but he's a wee bit special because Sam didn't have many possessions - it was just like getting a wee bit of Sam back," Ms Morton said. 

"It's a really nice comfort for my mum."