The tomcat was only six months old when he disappeared in 2006 from his home in North Rhine-Westphalia. Not a sign of him was seen since.
That is, until a few weeks ago when he was taken in by an animal shelter on the outskirts of Duisburg, as the German Association of Animal Lovers announced on Thursday.
When the employees there scanned his chip and sent it into the lost animal registry Tasso, they were shocked to learn that he had been reported missing almost a decade earlier.
“In my sixteen years working in this field this has never happened before,” deputy manager of the animal shelter, Nadine Förster, told regional newspaper the Rheinsiche Post.
At first the Tasso employees thought there had been an error, but after calling Nico’s family they could confirm that he had indeed been missing the entire time.
The black tomcat was in good health and showed no outwards signs of having struggled through his years away from home.
“It is within the realms of possibility that he was looked after during this time,” said Förster.
The delighted family picked Nico up from the shelter shortly afterwards. The bad news for Nico – the family now have a pet dog.