WHEN their beloved cat went missing almost three years ago, Gaynor and Adrian Wayne never gave up hope that he would make a return one day - and now their patience has paid off.

After first going missing on April 6, 2010, Mud the cat has finally been reunited with the couple at their home in Hafodarthen Road, Llanhilleth, after a neighbour spotted a picture of the missing moggy on social networking site Facebook.

And the black American cat wasted no time when he was brought back to the home, instantly recognising his surroundings and jumping up into a chair to curl up for a rest after his long ordeal.

The 10-year-old cat had previously belonged to Mr Wayne’s father John but after he died in 2007, Mr and Mrs Wayne, who live with their children Denise, 22, Thomas, 19, and Sophie, 16, adopted the family pet.

Mr and Mrs Wayne, who also have cats Gizmo, six, and Merlin, 18 months, lost Mud shortly after he had been attacked by a dog.

The cat was last seen outside their house at around 9.30pm while the family were celebrating Denise’s 19th birthday.

Mrs Wayne said they continued to look for him over the years and she would often call in at the vets or at a police station and would ask friends if they had seen him.

Almost three years on, Mud was finally found by a woman in Glyndwr Industrial Estate in Aberbeeg who took the cat to Budget Vets in Abertillery who contacted Wooffles Animal Rescue, of Manmoel Road, Tredegar. One of the volunteers from the animal rescue centre collected Mud and posted the picture on Facebook.

The couple recognised a scar underneath the fur of Mud from the previous dog attack. Mud also had a limp, which was confirmed by a vet as an old injury which may also have been from a dog attack, but he is now settling back into his home.

Mrs Wayne said: "We were devastated when he went missing and never stopped looking for him. It’s lovely to have him back. We are over the moon."