Tracey Young's cat Heidi walked off a property in Bay View where the family was staying while moving house In March last year.
After searching for a few months, the Young family thought they would never see Heidi again. Then 17 months later, they got a call from the SPCA Napier Centre.
When Heidi went missing, Young said the family put flyers everywhere, walked around the area for weeks and checked their old house.
"We still had a sliver of hope we would see her again, but we thought she was probably gone forever," she said.
"We were on a main road so I thought she may have been hit by a car."
The family was distraught at the time, but nine months after Heidi went missing they decided to get a new cat. They called him Sid.
Then someone from Westshore brought to the Napier SPCA a long-haired tortoiseshell that had been living under their deck for about a month.
Animal attendant Rachel Sumner discovered the cat had a registered microchip.
"We got in touch with the Young family who confirmed their very much-loved cat Heidi had been missing since April last year.
"They were over the moon and almost in tears.
"Heidi was in good shape and had been hanging around the person's address for some time. If she hadn't brought her in, this reunion would have never happened."
Young said she had never expected to get a call about Heidi.
"She said that they had my cat and I looked at Sid and said, 'no he's here'. Then I said, 'wait, do you mean Heidi?'.
"I was in shock, I had to sit down. I just had tears streaming down my face."
She said when they went to pick up Heidi from the SPCA she quickly came out of her cage, let Young hold her and began purring.
Since then she has been to the vet, been shaved as her fur was in knots, and is settling back into her new home with the new adjustment of Sid.
Sumner said Heidi's story showed why microchipping was important.
"That microchip allowed Heidi to be reunited with her owner and she's now making herself at home again. It's delightful to see outcomes like these."
"I would just tell people, please get your pets microchipped, it really does work," Young said.