A fearless feline has been hailed a life-saver after apparently launching a search and rescue mission for her missing pal and leading the exhausted moggy back home.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Purdy the rescue cat has been hailed a hero after saving Twinkle (black cat). Owern Weny Moore with her son RobinPHOTO: Nick ButcherPurdy the rescue cat has been hailed a hero after saving Twinkle (black cat). Owern Weny Moore with her son RobinPHOTO: Nick Butcher (Image: ©archant2016)

Twinkle's owners were losing hope after their treasured pet - who should have been resting a sore leg - made a break for the outside, putting his recovery at risk.

And while they called anxiously at the back door and put signs up in local shops, no-one was more worried than fellow pet Purdy.

Wendy Moore believes the frantic cat pounded the streets to find Twinkle and lead him home - banging on the front door to alert them to his plight in scenes reminiscent of the classic Lassie tales.

Now the cherished family cat is being hailed as a life-saver and is enjoying extra cuddles and treats at home in Oxford Avenue, Gorleston.

Mrs Moore, 51 , said she and husband Alan couldn't be more proud of their pet, who was adopted from the RSPCA in Ingham in November and was herself no stranger to life on the streets.

The drama unfolded on Friday when Twinkle, who was supposed to resting, made a bolt for freedom.

When he failed to come home within a few hours the family, including Robin, 20, who has autism, began to fret.

But it was Purdy who became the most stressed by his absence yowling, crying and pacing the house, demanding to be let out.

Mrs Moore said seven-year-old Twinkle escaped at around 4pm on Friday when she was tending to the rabbits and guinea pigs outside.

Because Purdy was so upset they let her out at about 4am, expecting her to be back in a few hours.

However when she also failed to return the family's upset grew, checking the local area and asking neighbours' children to keep an eye out.

'For Purdy that is unusual because she does not stray far. We went out and looked and were asking every one if they had seen them and on Saturday we did everything we could to distract ourselves.

'We were all really stressed. It was getting beyond a joke. 'At 6.30pm Saturday we fed the other three cats and it was upsetting because there were two missed bowls. I went out the back and called them again and this time Purdy came over the fence and in the back door. She then went straight to the front door and was banging on it.

'She is a very clever cat and looks after the other cats.

'My husband went out there and called Twinkle a couple of times and then he saw him collapsed in a heap under the car. He had managed to get that far.

'She had come round the back to let us know. We believe she had found him and lead him back to us. Since then she has barely left his side.

'She is a real superstar, she is our Princess Purdy.'

Meanwhile Twinkle is recovering and on anti-inflammatories for his leg while Purdy laps up all the fuss and attention from her grateful owners stunned by her remarkable life-saving feat.