Upper Hutt cat Romeo reunited with relieved family after being missing for 18 months

An Upper Hutt cat has been reunited with his family after going walkabout for 18 months.

Romeo did a runner in July, 2019 after his family moved from Manawatu to their new home.

Owner Nikki Guthardt says that was the last time the family saw him - until now.

Guthardt searched high and low for her Romeo and used Facebook to spread the word, but had no luck.

"[There were a] lot of sleepless nights worrying if he was alright," she says.

As the months went by with nothing but a few false sightings, hope began to dwindle. But a miracle came just in time for the New Year when a local saw him lurking in some overgrown land just a few minutes away from where he disappeared.

"I called out 'hey buddy' and I walked over and he spun around," Guthardt says.

"I dropped my phone on the ground, burst into tears, and just picked him up."

And so the missing piece of the puzzle was finally complete.

"To have him still alive and be able to pick him up again and bring him home is really cool," she says.

After 18 months missing, Romeo is acting like he never left now he's safe and sound back with his family.

"[He's] figuring out where he fits in because we now have four cats," Guthardt says.

It's a purr-fect ending for this little cat who not only used up his nine lives but lived to tell a tale of Shakespearean proportions.