Fletcher Oxford was so heartbroken about the disappearance of his pet cat Sushi that he performed a song on national television imploring her to come home.
Eight years after she disappeared, she finally has.
Sushi went missing from the family's Oropi, Bay of Plenty farm in 2008. After countless searches of the property, the Oxfords felt certain they would never see her again.
Fletcher, 15, is an aspiring musician and songwriter. In 2012, the then 12-year-old made it through to the finals of New Zealand's Got Talent with self-penned song Everything to Me, inspired by Sushi's disappearance. In the auditions he sang Ronan Keating's When You Say Nothing at All, dedicated to Sushi, appealing for her to come home.
The Oxfords have since moved closer to town but father Steve Oxford still works on the farm.
On Monday, he went out to feed the animals and heard a meowing coming from the shed.
When he went to investigate, he found Sushi sitting on some sheets.
"I couldn't believe my eyes, I thought 'bloody hell'," he said.
Mr Oxford took a picture of the distinctive tortoiseshell and sent it to Fletcher before putting Sushi in a cat box to take her home once he had fed the animals.
"When I think of how far away the nearest neighbour is and the terrain between us, gee, has she been living with someone else? Or living wild? We just don't know."
Mr Oxford said Sushi came back once after she went missing but then "just scarpered".
"It's funny really because Fletcher had spent the weekend making his entry for the Rockquest which is a video, so on Sunday he's showing us the video on YouTube and that brought up all these other videos including him singing his song on New Zealand's Got Talent about the cat. The next morning, I go to the farm and here's the cat."
Mr Oxford said Sushi had been enjoying lots of cuddles from the family since being found, as well as giving plenty of her own.
"She's had a nice night of luxury."
Sushi was taken to the vet yesterday and given the all clear with the exception of a sore paw.
Fletcher said he couldn't believe Sushi had returned.
"It's unreal ... but here she is."
All of Fletcher's music is inspired by Sushi and he sings to her often.
The song Everything To Me was Fletcher's first single release.
He hopes to do well at this year's Smokefree Rockquest.
Seven things to do if your cat goes missing
1. Stay calm and focused.
2. Check the neighbourhood.
3. Make phone calls and visit local shelters in person.
4. Post flyers.
5. Use social media.
6. Smells can help - leaving out an article of recently worn, unwashed clothing can help your cat find his or her way home because the pet could pick up and track your scent.
7. Don't give up.
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