A little girl has been reunited with her cat six years she held a funeral for him – because her dad thought he had been run over.
Isabella Beddy used to be accompanied by her best friend Sid whenever she went to nursery in the mornings with her mum, Lindley (corr) Beddy.
But after the kitten went missing, her dad thought he had seen black-and-white cat get run over and killed, so he brought the body home and the family staged a tearful funeral.
Now, six years later, Isabella has been reunited with her furry friend – who still walks her to school every morning.
Child-minder Lindley, 36, said: “We could not believe it.
“We moved out of that area three years ago in August and nothing in our house smells the same but he remembered us.
“He was so calm and happy.
“Even our new addition to the family who wasn’t around when he went missing he was giving her attention, it was lovely.”
The day after Sid went missing, dad Daniel Cope, 34, saw a dead cat he thought was him being picked up off the road and slung into a rubbish truck.
But six years later, Isabella, now nine, was jumping for joy when an animal rescue charity got in touch – and said they had found Sid, who now accompanies her on the walk to school.
Married Lindley and Daniel, from Carshalton, Surrey, had moved to a different house in the area, and they think that Sid may have been missing for so long because he did not know where they had moved to.
After Daniel thought he saw Sid’s body, he asked the binmen for the cat, and brought it home to bury.
They broke the news to devastated toddler Isabella who was very attached to the kitten – and they even buried him in their back garden.
Mum Lindley said: “Isabella loved Sid. She used to put him in her doll’s pushchair.
“When I walked her to preschool, he would try to follow her.
“We had to chase him home so he wouldn’t turn up to the school.
“We were absolutely devastated because we thought he’d been knocked over.”
The family had Sid microchipped when they first took him home, but because they thought he was dead, they didn’t bother updating their address in the database.
Sid was brought to Wallington Animal Rescue in Sussex on 13th May, a small not-for-profit centre founded and funded by emergency medical technician Neil Blackwell, 51 and his wife Amanda.
But because carpenter Daniel kept the same mobile number, they were able to ring him and reunite the family with their long lost pet – who was only a kitten when he went missing around Easter, 2012.
Sid, who came home a couple of weeks ago, returned to a full house and has been getting to know new family members including one-year-old baby Lola-Rose, Jasmine the cat and two pet dogs.
Lindley said: “It was a bit of a shock to be fair when we found out he was alive.
“We were absolutely devastated because we thought he’d been knocked over.
“It was just so nice to have him back and we’re just so glad that we had him microchipped, otherwise we would have never seen him again.
“He’s giving our dogs a bit of a run for their money at the moment and hissing at them but Isabella is just so happy.”
“It’s just so nice to have him back and we’re so glad we had him microchipped, otherwise we would have never seen him again.”
A friend of one of the centre’s animal fosterer had been feeding the scruffy cat for six months before taking him to the centre when she grew concerned for his health.
His fur was matted and had a wound to left ear, his head is tilting to the right, and was covered in fleas.
Neil said: “He was in poor condition when he came in with a bad flea infestation and particularly bad teeth.
Neil and Amanda treated Sid with antibiotics and nutrients, and scanned his microchip number and were able to call Sid’s owners who were ‘in disbelief.’
Neil added: “The neglect and abuse we see on a regular basis is heart-breaking and it is twenty-four-seven.
“Microchipping your pet costs just £10-£15 and anybody who has a scanner, like the ones you see in the airport, can scan an animal and access the database to try to find the owner’s information.
“If an animal isn’t microchipped and we can’t find the owners, we look to rehouse them.