A winter trip to Brighton’s seaside would not be the first choice for many holidaymakers - but then 10-year-old Ben the cat is not your average beach-bum.

Julia Romp, from Isleworth, has spent the past three months frantically searching for her beloved moggie after he mysteriously disappeared from her Bourne Close home on September 21.

She put up missing posters, rang animal charities, produced 4,000 leaflets to promote her hunt, and even received a warning from Hounslow Council to scale down her campaign.

But three months to the day after her pet vanished, Ms Romp received a phonecall out of the blue to inform her that the four-legged jet-setter had travelled 70 miles to vacation on the south coast.

Ms Romp said: “This is a miracle - he’s back home for Christmas.

“From the very first day he went I covered the area surrounding us in posters.

“It was an absolute mystery as he does not walk very far.

“My son and I walked the streets calling for him but he was never going to hear us in Brighton.”

Beach-loving Ben was eventually found by a family living in the seaside town and traced back to Isleworth using a microchip identity tag he had been implanted with.

As soon as she was given the good news last Monday, Ms Romp jumped straight into her car and spent six hours driving through snowfall and traversing icy roads to be reunited with her pet.

She said: “I got there and they had 10 inches of snow and the family lived up a hill.

“The lady who found him said ‘I am sure he came for a mini break to be by the sea’.”

After his safe return Ms Romp said her 13-year-old autistic son George, who “found life very difficult” without his feline friend, felt like a brother had been returned to him.

Ms Romp paid thanks to all those who helped and supported her during the search for Ben and urged all pet owners to get their animals implanted with an ID chip.

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