A cat who was found abandoned at the side of the M54 has been reunited with his owner weeks after being stolen.

The male grey tabby – which was called Highway by the RSPCA but whose real name is Podge – was found cowering beneath a barrier on Junction 4 of the M54 near Shifnal, in Shropshire.

Workers from Highways England found the kitten on Saturday 26 September and contacted the RSPCA’s Gonsal Farm Animal Centre, in Dorrington, Shropshire.

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A vet confirmed that injuries to his mouth and feet suggested he may have jumped or been thrown from a moving vehicle on the motorway.

The seven-month-old kitten was microchipped but the microchip had not been registered correctly, so his owner could not be traced.

But he has now been reunited with his owner Anna Gajewska, of St George’s, in Telford, after Anna’s neighbour saw an article about Podge in the local media and Anna was able to confirm the serial number of his microchip.

Anna, pictured right with Podge, said: “Podge had only recently started going outside after being neutered. He went missing at the beginning of September and I was devastated. We’d given up hope but then last week my neighbour came round showing me an article in the local newspaper which had a photo of Podge. I couldn’t believe it. I was so excited because I really thought I was never going to see him again.

“When I went to pick him up from Gonsal Farm, I cried my eyes out. It was so cute when my daughter Ellie-Mae, who is four, came back from school because she was so happy. She picked him up and said, ‘I’ve missed Podge, I love Podge!’

“He has settled straight back into being at home – it’s like nothing has happened. The injuries to his paws have healed but the vet said that his claws may never grow back.

“I’m so grateful to the local media for covering his story because otherwise I would never have got him back.”

Rebecca Emeny, manager of Gonsal Farm, said: “We are so happy that Podge has been reunited with his owner. He has been through such an ordeal but thankfully he has recovered well. He is such a lovely cat and we love a happy ending.”

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