Angus, the ginger cat that delights visitors to the Countdown supermarket in Upper Hutt, has been found safe and sound.
The feline had gone missing, allegedly taken by a stranger from his usual spot in Countdown, last week.
The 14-year-old cat has developed somewhat of a local cult following, as he has spent the last six years hanging outside the local Countdown supermarket.
He has become a celebrity in Upper Hutt, with people reportedly even switching supermarkets just to see Angus more often.
A Facebook group created for Angus has more than 1600 members and, on social media, everyone had been hoping for the animal's safe return.
Angus' owner Karen Piper had pleaded with whoever had taken her cat to ensure he was kept healthy, as Angus is frail 14-year-old cat with skin allergies.
He was found on Sunday, bout 12km from home, in Taitā.
"He was found thanks to a citizen finding him in her backyard and she posted on Angus' Facebook group if it was him. We hurried to the rescue and with my microchip scanner confirmed it was him," Upper Hutt cat rescuer Rachel Skye told the Herald.
Skye was thrilled to be able to confirm to owner Karen Piper the good news that the cat was, in fact, her missing pet Angus.
"We were ecstatic when Angus came running out of the room," Skye added in a post on Facebook.
"Once in his secure carrier he purred his butt off and got smothered with pats and love from mum Karen Piper and Michelle J Best. What a relief."
The local rescuer believes Angus "was taken with the best intentions, but they probably thought they could keep him".
"You can't just take someone's else pet regardless of its health or if you think it has no owner," she said. "I hope this is a good learning experience and educates the community."
According to Skye, Angus is "recovering great", after a night cuddled up warm inside.
"By the time Countdown opened he was already there and waiting for attention," she added.