12/19/2008 AT 02:30 PM EST
Cat owner Norma Meece pulled out all the stops when her cat Hope went missing seven weeks ago, even calling in a pet detective with a bloodhound to help find her three-legged friend. But when the search ended, it turned out Meece didn't even have to leave her own back yard: Hope was found this week in a humane trap set up near her home, according to The Associated Press
Hope, a former stray whose front left leg was amputated, seems happy to be back with her family, according to Meece. The cat has a few scratches and lost a little weight, but otherwise avoided injury during her adventure.