WANDERING Billie the cat has finally returned home after a long, er, paws.
Gledholt woman Celia Singh is delighted her black cat has turned up 17 months after going missing.
She said: "It's wonderful. I thought he had gone forever."
Celia rediscovered her long-lost moggy after returning from the shops on Westbourne Road.
The 78-year-old said: "I had just gone out to get the Examiner and when I came home, Billie came bursting out of the cat-flap."
Celia thinks he had been eating dried cat food which she had left out for her other two cats, Lucky and Ginger.
She said: "I suppose he ran off because he thought he had done wrong by eating their food."
But Billie returned when Celia called him back. "He came straight up to me and wanted to be stroked. He's quite a friendly cat but he does like to bite my ankles," she said.
Although he was missing his collar and name tag, Celia thought he seemed in good shape.
She said: "He looks well-fed so I think someone else has been looking after him."
Since returning Billie has had to get used to four-year-old Lucky, who Celia got while he was away.
She said: "Lucky didn't take to Billie very well but she's used to him now.
"Billie used to sleep upstairs but that's Lucky's territory now. When she sees him up there she chases him off."
Celia, who has lived in Gledholt for 30 years, scoured the area in search of Billie when he went missing in September 2005.
In 2004 Billie disappeared for eight months before coming back.
So Celia has now had her forgetful feline micro-chipped - but she still lets him out.
She said: "He still goes in and out of the cat-flap as he pleases. Hopefully he won't run off again."