Saturday, 26 September 2020
A FAMILY face spending Christmas without two of their four cats after they went missing within less than a fortnight of each other.
Lunar, a 10-year-old female belonging to Susannah Walker and Giles Lovegrove, was last seen at their home in Shirvells Hill, between Goring Heath and Woodcote, on the morning of November 19. She went out for a walk as usual after breakfast and has not been seen since.
The couple, who have a 14-year-old daughter Ella and sons Finley, 11, and Oscar, nine, put posters up around the villages offering a reward but had to update them when Scrumpy Jack, who is 18 months old, also disappeared after walking off on November 29.
There have been some possible sightings but nothing conclusive and Mrs Walker says it will be upsetting to celebrate the festive season without them.
The family hope someone has taken them in without knowing who owns them and will be able to bring them home safe and well. They have both been microchipped so a vet should be able to look up the family’s details.
Lunar, who has a black coat with a handful of grey hairs and is quite small for her age, was found hiding in their shed about five years ago, shortly after they had lost another cat to a dog attack.
They took her to a vet who said she was in good health and had likely been abandoned by her previous owner so they took her in. She has a close connection with Mrs Walker and would wake her up in bed every morning.
Scrumpy Jack, who was bought as a birthday present for Mrs Walker last summer, has ginger fur with pronounced tabby stripes and a fairly large frame.
Mrs Walker will now not let her other cats Casper, 15 months, and Joey, nine months, out of the house in case Lunar and Scrumpy Jack were stolen or deliberately hurt. She says no cats had disappeared before in their street, where they have lived for 11 years, but earlier this year one belonging to a neighbour also went missing.
She said: “On the day Lunar went missing, we had a boiler fitted by a plumber based in London so I even drove to his offices to see if she’d somehow got in his van and ended up there.
“We were still heartbroken on the awful moment we realised that Scrumpy had also gone missing and replacing those posters has been soul-destroying.
“We don’t live on a main road and always felt it was a lovely place for cats. I’m now frantic that they’ve been trapped deliberately or somehow harmed as I can’t believe they would both just vanish into thin air.”
Mrs Walker, an art teacher, is now sleeping on her downstairs sofa in case they return injured during the early hours and has hired a heat-sensing camera to search nearby woodland but to no avail.
She said: “I’m printing flyers daily and working my way around the village and I don’t know what else I can do. My children have written to Santa asking him to bring them home but I’ve had to gently explain that maybe there’s a limit to what he can do.
“Christmas is on hold while I spend all my time looking and I haven’t even started shopping properly. We’ve just put the tree up but my boys were crying and didn’t want to do it because they said it wouldn’t feel like Christmas with the cats still gone.
“Everyone I know thinks it’s very strange and I’m trying not to think about what could have happened. You wonder whether they’ve been trapped or poisoned and it’s hard not to think about it.
“Some people might not understand or think they’re ‘only animals’ but they’re very much a part of the family and we’re all devastated. Any information would be welcome, even if it’s sad news as it would help give us some closure.”
Anyone with information is asked to email email@example.com
with “woodcote missing cats 1.jpg" to 3 plus 1912699 showing Susannah and her son Oscar, nine, holding remaining cats Joey (left) and Casper (right)
23 December 2019
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