A cat that went missing for 11 years was miraculously reunited with her teenage owner on Christmas Eve - making the furry feline a surprise Christmas present for her overjoyed family.
Chloe Hill was just six years old when she was given tiny kitten Salem as a present from her mum, Karen.
But she was heartbroken when the little cat disappeared just weeks later after slipping through an open door.
Incredible reunion: Chloe Hill, with her cat Salem that went missing for 11 years and was miraculously reunited with her teenage owner on Christmas Eve
The family spent weeks searching the neighbourhood for their kitten, but never spotted their beloved pet.
They eventually feared the much-loved moggie was gone forever and got on with their lives.
Yet on Christmas Eve the RSPCA called the family from Halesowen, West Midlands to say Salem had been handed in and an emotional reunion followed.
Overjoyed Chloe, now 17, said: 'I just couldn't believe it when I saw Salem again. I never thought she'd come back after all these years.'
Wandering Salem was handed in to the RSPCA in Birmingham which identified her owner from her microchip.
'It was such a great surprise, especially on Christmas Eve, it really made my Christmas,' Chloe added.
Mrs Hill, a hair salon owner, thought she was being 'pranked' when an RSPCA rescue worker first phoned to say they had found Salem.
The pet had vanished less than two months after the mum had taken her in from a rescue centre in 1999 as a pet for her daughter.
'Chloe was heartbroken at the time,' recalled Karen. 'We'd only had her for a few weeks when she went missing, but she absolutely adored her.
'Salem had just slipped out the front door one day and ran off. I don't even remember getting her chipped, but we must have done as that's how the RSPCA found us.
'I couldn't believe it when we got the call to say she had been found. I thought it was a joke at first, as we'd forgotten all about her.
'We rushed over to the pet store on Christmas Eve and spent GBP100 on litter trays and food.'
Homeward bound: Salem gave his owner a festive surprise after being found on December 24, over a decade after going missing
Where Salem has been living for the last 11 years is set to remain a mystery, but she was handed in to the RSPCA by an anonymous pensioner who had been feeding her.
Mrs Hill added: 'When the RSPCA called they said Salem may have been a stray all that time, so I was a bit worried. But as soon as I saw her she looked in really good condition.
'Someone must have been looking after her for all these years she's completely house trained.'
Hannah Ross, an RSPCA veterinary nurse who treated Salem, said: 'This is the longest time period we've seen when reuniting pets.'
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