Missing Nottingham cat found after travelling 30 miles in van

Katya, Darcy and Matt

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Matt Ryder

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Darcy is in good health and eating plenty after being missing for 16 days

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A cat who was missing for more than two weeks after hopping into a van has been found 30 miles away from her home.

Darcy was found on Friday when she was spotted in Knighton, Leicester, after going missing from her home in Beechdale, Nottingham, on 15 July.

Her owners Matt Ryder and Katya Aleksic, with help from many others, had searched for her every night since her disappearance.

Mr Ryder said now she is back “the house feels like a home again”.

The 31-year-old said they had had their television repaired on 15 July. When Darcy, who is an outdoor cat, did not come home the following day they realised she was missing.

A couple of days later, their neighbour found CCTV footage showing Darcy hopping in the back of the repair worker’s van.

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Matt Ryder

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Mr Ryder said they had “almost lost all hope” of finding Darcy, who got into the back of a van

The driver – who told them he had not seen Darcy – said after visiting them he stopped in Belgrave, Thurnby Lodge and Knighton in Leicester before going on to Birmingham.

Mr Ryder said they spent the following days searching, door-knocking and putting up posters in those areas.

They were then shown CCTV footage, from a house near the driver’s first stop in Belgrave, of Darcy jumping out of the van, and they focussed their search there.

When a member of the public, who had seen the appeal online, texted to say hey had seen Darcy about five miles away in Knighton, Mr Ryder said he didn’t believe it could be her.

However when he got there, he said it was “like was like something out of a movie”.

He said: “I dropped to my knees and shouted her name and she jumped into my arms.

“I was speechless and overwhelmed. I was so happy we had found her.”

She was found only 200 yards from the van driver’s Knighton stop.

He added: “We had CCTV footage of her getting out at the first stop [in Belgrave] but she must have got back in.”

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Matt Ryder

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Friends, family and a charity from Scunthorpe called Stray and Feral Essential Rescue helped Mr Ryder and his partner (pictured) search every night

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