When Giro slipped away from his new home in Loburn, his family never thought they would see the hardy black cat again.
But Giro made a 50-kilometre journey back to the family's red-stickered Redcliffs home, where he was found living under the house.
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Giro was not the only pet to make a remarkable return to his owners this week.
Big Blue, a budgie that escaped from its cage, was found in Governors Bay, 10km from his home.
Giro fled from his Loburn home when a hailstorm hit in September, and Derrick and Amanda Boon tried everything to find their cat.
The family had been at the property only a month after moving from their red-stickered Redcliffs home.
Just when all hope seemed lost, the couple received a phone call from their former neighbours just before Christmas telling them Giro had returned and was living under the house.
"They said, ‘You'll never guess what. The cat's back'," Amanda Boon said.
The neighbours coaxed him out with food and took him to Boon's workplace.
Boon said the family were still awestruck by the 50km Giro travelled and the obstacles he would have faced, including the Ashley and Waimakariri rivers.
"He shouldn't be alive. The logistics of what he's had to go through to get back is fairly amazing," she said.
"He's either crossed the rivers or gone across the bridge without being squished by traffic. It's an incredible journey."
Boon said Giro seemed happy to be home.
In another tale of a pet returning, Miranda Johnson, 25, of Cashmere, was stunned when her pet budgie was found 10km away from the family home.
Johnson's two budgies, Big Blue and Banana, escaped in early January after her husband left the pin out of the cage.
"It was windy that day and it must have opened and the birds flew out," she said. "I gave up hope that we'd ever see him again."
Banana was found a few days later at a neighbouring property, but Big Blue remained at large.
Johnson was shocked a few days later when she got a call from a Governors Bay family saying they had found Big Blue.
He had flown over 10km to reach Governors Bay.
"I didn't think Big Blue could possibly have made it all that way," Johnson said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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