A heart-melting reunion between a five-year-old girl and her missing cat in Nanaimo is serving as a powerful reminder to pet owners.

Claudia Arnold was only a toddler when her family’s cat, Cursor, went missing in 2013.

“He’s kind of like my friend, but he’s my buddy too,” the tot told CTV News.

Her mother, Kara, said she got the calico from the SPCA when she was pregnant with Claudia. After Claudia was born, the pair instantly fell in love.

“He was a really friendly cat and he would always be outside talking to the neighbours, and one day he just didn’t come home,” she said. “It was really hard for [Claudia], whenever we got in the car she would want to call his name out the window as we were driving.”

The family put up posters and searched for the cat for weeks, but eventually moved on with their lives – though Claudia would get sad every now and then about her missing kitty.

“Mommy and me went in the car when I was one and we went searching for him everywhere,” she said. “I thought I lost him forever. I missed him so much then I kept crying every day.”

The family still doesn’t know where he went for three years, but Kara has her suspicions.

“I think that someone took him. He’s so friendly and lovable and I can see why everyone who’s ever walked past our house and pet him would want him,” she said.

But in mid-August, she got a notification that she had been tagged in an SPCA post featuring a cat that looked identical to cursor.

Instead of getting her daughter’s hopes up, the family went straight to the SPCA in Nanaimo without telling her why.

With cameras rolling, an SPCA staffer opened the door and delivered Cursor right into a surprised Claudia’s arms.

Asked how happy she was to be reunited with her cat, the adorable youngster stretched her arms wide.

“This much,” she said, beaming.

The video of their adorable reunion has garnered thousands of views and shares on social media.

The BC SPCA is using Cursor’s story as a reminder to pet owners to properly identify their furry friends with ear tattoos or microchip implants and visible ID tags.

More information can be found on the BC SPCA website