Family’s delight at return of pet

Two-and-a-half year old female Fluff went missing from the Farmhill Cattery in the Woodburn area.  INCT 31-721-CON
Two-and-a-half year old female Fluff went missing from the Farmhill Cattery in the Woodburn area. INCT 31-721-CON

A Carrickfergus man whose beloved family pet escaped from a local cattery has spoken of his delight at the animal’s safe return.

David Bunce left two-and-a-half year old feline Fluff at Farmhill Boarding Kennels and Cattery before going on holiday earlier this month.

However, he and his family were devastated on their return to find that the black and white female was missing.

The young cat was originally booked in to stay at the boarding facility, based on Woodburn Road, for two weeks.

David said: “Fluff first came to us about two years ago; she was a wild cat and we took her in and tamed her. She’s a real family pet and gets on with everyone, even the dog; she’s part of our family and we’re all very fond of her.

“We had used the cattery before last year with no problems that I’m aware of. When we returned home this week, we were told that she had escaped on the 15th of July.”

He added: “We were devastated; it’s just not something you’d expect to happen while you’re away.”

However, the family were reunited with their beloved pet on Thursday night after she was spotted by a member of the public.

“A lady called Pat from The Cats Inn on the Lisglass Road contacted me on Thursday to say Fluff had been spotted by another lady, Maureen Gillespie,” David said.

“It was after eleven at night but we went down to where Fluff had been seen and called her; she came running straight out of the bushes to us. She had lost a lot of weight and was very nervous and frightened, but she was pleased to see us.

“She was found near Woodburn reservoir so it does seem like she was trying to get up to our house again. It’s fantastic to have her back.”

Meanwhile, Anne Doherty, owner of the cattery and boarding kennels, expressed her sympathy to the Bunce family over the incident. “I felt dreadful about the whole thing; I’m so relieved she has been found,” she said.

“As soon as I realised she was gone I went searching for her, and went up to the family’s house to put food out for her in case she came home.

“I can understand how they feel about what has happened and I have every sympathy.

“We are actually closing the cattery at the end of this month, but the decision to do that was made a few months ago.”

The family, who received a full refund for the amount paid to care for Fluff while they were away, have thanked all members of the public who helped them in their search.