A NSW South Coast family had given up all hope their pet cat would return home after he ran away during the January bushfires.
Carol Ingram-Taylor said the moggie, Tank, was terrified during the summer fires and bolted from his Narooma home.
"The family were calling for him and looking for him," she said. "There were lots of sightings, but we didn't know if it was him.
"After five months had gone by, we thought there was little hope of ever seeing him again.
"Then last week my grandson Jack Farrugia told me he had seen a post on Facebook, that someone in Dalmeny had noticed a stray cat hanging around.
"Although I didn't think it could be Tank after all this time, Jack said he was going to check it out.
"It ended up being Tank."
However, he had been through a tough time.
"Apparently five-year-old Tank was in a bad way, found starving and in poor condition by a young Dalmeny woman. She caught him, washed and fed him before letting him go, hoping that he would find his way home," Ms Ingram-Taylor said.
"When Jack arrived in Dalmeny, Tank was so pleased to see him, he ran straight up to Jack.
"Jack brought him home and he's just taken over again," Carol said. "He was very thin and so hungry he devoured five satchels of food.
"He has certainly been around. I wish he could talk because I would love to know how he got over the Narooma bridge and made it to Dalmeny," she said.
Narooma is about 14km south of Dalmeny.