The Nagle family in Malahide were “devastated” when their 15-month-old cat Chip wandered off in November and never came home.
The family looked for Chip all over their neighbourhood and put posters up in the area in an effort to find him.
They also contacted animal services and helplines but had no luck.
Speaking to FM104, Vanessa Nagle said: “We were just heartbroken as anyone who loves their pets and they vanish without a trace, know. We searched everywhere. He is a very friendly cat, always in and out of people's houses, and sheds.
“We can only think that he managed to get into the van in one of the nearby houses that was having work done. But we just never expected him to show up again like this, we were coming to terms with the fact he was gone for good. It was heart-breaking.”
But two weeks ago, Vanessa was at work when a vet in Clondalkin contacted her to tell her that Chip had been handed in by a local man who found him on the street.
“I was like, 'Is he alive?’ She was like, ‘Yeah, he’s in great shape. He’s absolutely fabulous.’
“I couldn't believe it. He was micro-chipped and that's how they traced me. He went from Malahide to Clondalkin and I've no idea where he was during that time or how he got there.
“I asked the vet how he came to be in her care and she said a kind man named Richard handed him in.
“I got in touch with Richard thanks to Castle Vets in Clondalkin and Richard said he had seen the cat and he just couldn't shake the feeling that he was missing someone. He said he had a friend who lost their cat and he instinctively knew he had to tell someone.
“He caught the cat and brought it to the vet who contacted me. You read about these things, but you never ever expect them to happen to you.”
Vanessa then told of the joy her family felt when they were reunited with Chip.
“My daughter is 7 years old and she came back from her holidays and my mother told her 'There is a big surprise waiting for you when you get home.’
“She said she hoped it was a new kitten because she was missing Chip so much, but when she saw him and said, 'Who is that?' and I said ‘Who do you think?' and she was so thrilled she said 'This is better than Santa Claus!’”
Vanessa said that the remarkable reunion stressed the importance of microchipping, adding that the family will be keeping a close eye on Chip from now on.
“I think though he has learned his lesson. He is locked in every night and everyone in the area is keeping an eye on him, we have been so vigilant, but I think he knows now.
“I can't stress the importance of microchipping. It's like a miracle - we are so lucky; we feel so lucky. It's unbelievable, almost unreal.
“We are so grateful to whoever met Chip along the way because he is extremely well looked after and wasn't underweight or neglected.
“I think he may have just kept moving on, trying to get home and we want to thank whoever looked after him from the bottom of our hearts. We feel so lucky and so grateful.”