About three years ago a family tabby cat called Crystal went missing from Donovan Rd, Paraparaumu.

After a few days the Rehu family comprising Aaron and Rachel and their daughters Angelica and Imogen realised their cat was missing so put an alert on Petsonthenet.

A response came from a man in Douglas Rd, Paraparaumu Beach, thinking he had found the cat, so the family popped round and met the cat who looked like Crystal and responded to its name.

Considering a neighbour had moved to Nathan Ave, which is near Douglas Rd, the family thought their cat could have hitched a ride, so didn't feel the need for a microchip check.

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After a few weeks inside the cat was let outside and enjoyed its freedom so much it would only come to the house for breakfast and dinner.

Family life went on as normal and the cat got accustomed to the other family pets including a black and white cat called Layla who was bought to keep it company.

But about five weeks ago the family got a phone call from Raumati Vet Centre who said they had their cat Crystal in their clinic.

Disbelieving, as the family had fed their cat an hour ago, they went to the clinic where the cat, who had a nasty scab on its tail, was dully rescanned.

"We were very surprised that it was in fact Crystal," Aaron said.

"We had always assumed the cat at our place, who liked to live outside, was Crystal."

Crystal was brought back into the family fold and met her lookalike.

"When she saw Crystal it was almost like she thought 'gee I'm busted'," Aaron said.

The lookalike was scanned for a microchip, which she had, but attempts to find the owner didn't come to fruition.

The family decided to keep the lookalike, which the kids want to call Autumn, especially as they didn't feel she could be rehomed easily as she's not very friendly.

Crystal, who has had to have part of her tail amputated at WellPet Paraparaumu after antibiotics weren't fighting the scab infection enough, has been outside a few times and seems keen to stay put.

"We would really like to thank the person who took Crystal into the veterinary clinic," Aaron said.