LUCY the cat must have used up all nine of her lives when she was reunited with her owners - seven weeks after they had been told she was dead.
The 16-month-old grey half-British blue went missing from a cattery on Wooley Lane, Baxenden, on 27 July while owners Gaynor and Daniel McPherson were on holiday in Corfu.
When the distraught couple returned they were heartbroken to hear their beloved pet had escaped after climbing over a mesh fence - prompting them to launch an urgent appeal for news of her through the Observer.
They printed dozens of posters with pictures of Lucy on them, putting them up all over Baxenden, and also contacted the police to see if there had been any sightings.
Their hopes of finding her were apparently dashed when they were given the devastating news that Lucy had been run over on Burnley Road.
But the story has a happy ending after all for Lucy was still alive - and last Friday she was returned to the family at their home on Harlech Drive, Oswaldtwistle.
It seems the mix-up happened after another dead cat was mistakenly identified as Lucy and the couple never had the chance to see the body for themselves.
Gaynor, 31, a teacher at St Mary's Primary School, Mellor, said she was amazed but delighted to get Lucy back.
She said: "She was missing for a total of seven weeks and she has come back to us. It is just incredible and we can't believe it. It's like winning the lottery.
"When she came back, she was very thin and she has needed antibiotics. She also has a gash on her leg which has been healing up.
"We are so pleased to have her back and so is Jess, our other cat. We are over the moon as we thought we would never see her again."
Gaynor said she was at school last Friday when she got the call telling her Lucy had been found by two people while they were out walking their dog in Baxenden.
At first she could not believe it, but a quick trip to the vets, where Lucy had been taken, confirmed it was her cat.
She added that Lucy had been making a good recovery and was keen to get out and about - although her owners understandably want to keep her close to home for the time being.