MARIN COUNTY (CBS SF) – A Marin County couple received a phone call this week that they will never forget. Their lost cat has been found – eight years after it disappeared.

Nancy and Richard Payne’s orange cat, Ginger, walked away In 2007 and they always wondered what happened to their kitty.

Earlier this week, a man walked in to the Marin Humane Society with a cat that has been hanging out in front of his garage. He has been feeding it, but wanted to check if somebody owns the cat.

Lisa Bloch, communication director of the humane society, said they found a chip on the cat’s collar and traced it back to the Payne’s.

“I was shocked,” Nancy Payne said, wondering, “Where has she been all these years?”

Payne told CBS San Francisco she was worried Ginger had become feral, but she appeared to have been well taken care of. “She looks really healthy,” she said. “She’s still pretty feisty.”

The Marin Humane Society posted video of the reunion on their Facebook page.

“It was amazing. They said ‘We’ll be right over,’” Bloch told KCBS Radio. “They came over, a lovely couple. We brought them back and handed the cat to them. It was really remarkable, there was definitely some tears. It was just a great story.”

Ginger seemed to know her owners right away. “We were amazed. I mean, eight years? That’s amazing,” Bloch said.

According to Bloch, it has been the longest number of years that an animal has been missing, turned in to the humane society, and reunited with its owner.

“What I think this story illustrates is the importance of microchipping your animal. It costs almost nothing and it can enable people to find lost pets,” Bloch said.

With two other cats at home, reintroducing Ginger to the household is going to take some time. “It’s going to take and adjustment for all of us,” said Payne.

Payne said she doesn’t want to spook Ginger and cause her to run away once more. “I’m so afraid to let her out,” she said. “I don’t want her disappearing again.”

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