When Benny the cat went missing seven years ago, his owner did all she could to try to find him.
Nancy Bryant, from New Hampshire, organized search parties in her nearby woods and put up posters in her neighborhood, but after a few weeks, Benny still didn’t show up.
Bryant eventually thought another animal got to him, she told People.
However, that wasn’t the case.
Somehow, Benny survived the last seven years on his own and in early December he was reunited with Bryant — just in time for Christmas.
“I still can’t believe it,” she told People.
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Now 14 years old, Benny was reconnected to Bryant by the New Hampshire SPCA.
According to the shelter’s website, someone found Benny and dropped him off at their local vet, who found he had a microchip.
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“He was transferred to our shelter for safe keeping while we tracked down his adoptive family,” the New Hampshire SPCA wrote. “It took some time because the micro-chip info was not kept up to date. When we finally made contact, his family was surprised and delighted! The very next morning, they picked him up to bring him back home.”
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Now that Benny is home, Bryant has renamed him St. Nick, “in recognition of the wonderful holiday gift of a second chance they have been given,” the shelter wrote on its website.
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“We call him our Christmas miracle,” Bryant told People. “But we’re always saying that just the strength it took to endure whatever he endured just means that he’ll never give up.”
“Don’t give up,” she added. “He had the strength to survive. After this year, he’s just a miracle. He’s just our miracle.”