It was nosy neighbours who brought Angela Dyer's much-loved cat home after almost five months on the run.
The Auckland woman was distraught when Duff, her 5-year-old oriental, absconded while staying at her parents' Papatoetoe home at the beginning of the year.
"He escaped on Dad's watch. Dad opened the door and Duff's pretty fast."
After giving her father a good scolding, Dyer and the rest of her family hit the streets to hunt down the feline escapee. But Duff couldn't be found.
Flyers and ads yielded nothing but Dyer never gave up hope.
And then news came. Two "amazing ladies" who lived a couple of kilometres from her parents' home had seen Duff and thought he was a neighbour's cat, but the neighbour moved away and Duff stayed. They saw a Pets on the Net website advert and discovered Duff was wanted.
"I wasn't emotional when I heard because I couldn't quite believe it," Dyer said. "But [when I saw him] I was crying."
Duff, a bit skinny but otherwise no worse for wear, was pretty happy too. "He was making a lot of noise and he was purring from when he got home till he went to sleep. He was really happy."