CATNAP: Lost for 10 days, Galaxy the cat turns up 700km away
VERUSCHKA Moyle is the first to admit that her cat Galaxy can be "a bit of jerk" sometimes.
But she still loves the fluffy blue-eyed cat she adopted three years ago from the Gold Coast.
"He's so gorgeous," Ms Moyle said.
"He's been part of our family for a long time, we're just in love with him."
So when he went missing a fortnight ago, Ms Moyle searched high and low to find him.
"Every day I searched for him after work, couldn't find him," she said.
"I knocked on every neighbour's door and every corner.
"We've got a creek nearby and I was even checking in there."
After nine days of looking, Ms Moyle had just about given up hope when she returned from a walk and received a call from a council ranger.
"They said we'd picked up Galaxy and could you please come and get your cat," she said.
"And I said 'sure, where do I get her from' and they said 'Lane Cove'."
That's Lane Cove in Sydney, just a tick over 650km away.
The ranger, who had picked him up from an industrial area, scanned him for a microchip and made the call, not realising where his home was.
"They couldn't understand why I couldn't just come get her, until I said that I lived in Yamba on the North Coast of NSW," Ms Moyle said.
"I drove down one night and stayed in a hotel so I could bring her back fresh."
That weekend, Ms Moyle met the ranger and was reunited with her cat, who at first was cagey at meeting his owner.
"I don't think he recognised me instantly," she said.
"They put him in the cat cage I had and he was quite unsettled. I was so excited that I wanted to take him out but he hadn't been checked over and I just wanted to get him home."
Ms Moyle drove down the freeway for an hour and decided she couldn't wait any longer.
"I stopped about an hour down the road and turned around, looked at him and I could just see in his eyes that he recognised me," she said.
"I let him out and he came and gave me a big smooch and I just thought 'oh thank God'."
Ms Moyle said he had suffered a few injuries during his ordeal, with some fur missing and being sore all over.
"Angourie Road vet, where we'd always taken him, were so awesome when we got back," Ms Moyle said.
"They had been ringing to see how he was going, it was like he was one of their family too.
"When I found him, they told me to bring him in for a check-up and they gave him medication for his pain and didn't charge me, which was wonderful.
"They said I was lucky, because while lots of people microchip dogs, very few do it for their cat and that was the reason I got him back."
Ms Moyle has a few theories on Galaxy's wild ride, ranging from hitch-hiking in a trailer or even being "catnapped" by another person who might have then discovered the "jerk" side of his personality.
Now he's back at home on the bed, a little scared of cars but accepting lots of hugs.
"He's my comfort cat, he's my study buddy," Ms Moyle said.
"I wish he could tell me what happened, it was quite the journey ... but now he's just getting lots of hugs.
"I really was ready to give up. I guess he can be a real jerk - but he's beautiful."