Saturday, 28 January 2017

The Kidnapping of Mr Cheeky - the final chapter


It has taken me most of the day to process what has happened, but ultimately I wanted to say more than a few words on Facebook.

Today at 11.50am, as I was cleaning the windows in our flat, the telephone rang.

It was Emma from Wilbury Vets, Hove. A ginger cat had been brought in. It had been hit by a car round the corner in Cromwell Road, Hove.

Sadly it could not be saved. They scanned the cat and found a match with Mr Cheeky's details on the PetLog database, hence the phonecall. I asked if she was absolutely sure and she asked if he had any other distinguishing features so I mentioned the chipped upper right fang, She asked if he had had a collar and I said yes, he had a yellow collar on when he was kidnapped. Much to my astonishment he still had a 'gold coloured' collar on. She asked what I wanted to do as they could organise cremation if I wanted. I said could I pick him up after the weekend as I didn't think I was in a fit state to drive. She said she understood, They would put him in their cold room for the weekend until I was ready. She knew all about Mr Cheeky and sounded quite emotional herself.

So our baby was alive for 7 weeks and 6 days following his kidnap and was killed only today when he finally escaped (or was released). Clearly disorientated and with no idea where he was, he panicked and ran across a road, sadly to be unlucky. I wonder if his captors lived on Cromwell Road? It is also a mere 0.9 miles from our flat in Brunswick Street East. So near and yet so far!

I have been in bits all day thinking about it. He had such a tough start to life, abandoned as a young cat, barely out of kittenhood, living on the streets and rescued by Lost Cats Brighton (where we got him) and then only two and a half years of happy life with us before he was kidnapped by those utter slimeballs, for who knows what reason.

My last memory of Mr Cheeky was earlier on the night he was taken. I was sitting on the sofa in front of the TV and Mr Cheeky was lying on his back on my lap reaching up with his paws to try and brush my hair with his claws. It was one of his little things. He was fascinated by hair. But it was also a perfect moment which I will treasure always.

He was a tough and independent cat most of the time, (let's face it, he ran the neighbourhood in catly terms!) but just occasionally he would be as soft as a marshmallow and allow a big cuddle, usually when he was tired. Or if I let him sleep on our bed (big treat) he would start by sleeping nonchalantly at the bottom and gradually work his way up the bed through the night until he had wedged his head under my chin gently purring and bunting me with his nose until I was so hot I had to get up and relegate him back to the living room with his food and litter tray.

So farewell my brave soldier, the most fearless cat I ever knew. You wouldn't hesitate to look a dog straight in the eye or boof a canine nose which got too close. You even managed to cow an American bulldog two doors down and visit and walk around that flat as if you owned it. You had a paw in every door (little children loved you) and you followed us to the local pub too. You even tried to follow me up the street to get the bus to work and were a regular visitor striding up the aisles at the Sunday Assembly in Waterloo Street! You've paid a high price for being so independent, friendly and fearless, (or perhaps because of your resemblance to 'A Streetcat Named Bob'), but you could never have been an indoor cat. It just wasn't in your nature. I'm so glad you got a last taste of freedom, albeit tragically brief. God bless you my furbabe, until we meet again.

Thank you so much to all the Likers and Sharers and Messagers and well-wishers. You've been phenomenal. As have our dear neighbours. I only wish I had a happy ending - for all our sakes.

But if you are local and want to pay tribute to Mr Cheeky and help other lost cats in Brighton and Hove, there IS one final thing you can do.  I had been arranging a Mad Catter's Tea Party (dress code: Crazy Cat Lady or Eccentric) to raise funds for Lost Cats Brighton. (where we got Mr Cheeky). This will take place on Sunday 19th February (6pm-9pm) at Patisserie Valerie on Western Road, Hove. It is £25 a ticket - £12.50 for late afternoon tea with buffet and beverages (lots to suit vegetarians too), with the rest going to Lost Cats. Plus we have exclusive use of this gorgeous venue on two floors, so it would be amazing to get away from screens and mobiles for a bit and meet some of you lovely people in real life. Something to look forward to on this darkest of days. As you may know Lost Cats sadly lost their founder Ron Ayres last month and may shortly lose their rented premises, so it is vital they find new rented premises asap in order that their valuable work can continue (it is estimated Ron helped up to 200 cats a year in his 17-year post-retirement calling.Tickets here (even I as the organiser will be buying one!). It is a registered charity, so Lost Cats can also claim Gift Aid on anything we raise.

UPDATE 29/01/17: The lady who was alerted to Mr Cheeky's body in Cromwell St and who took him to Wilbury Road vets round the corner has been in touch with some further information and it looks as if our cat may have been being kept by someone in the street, very close by. Have just updated Police and asked them to investigate. It would be good to get a prosecution for pet theft if possible.

I leave you with a few of my favourite piccies of Mr Cheeky, some of them with his playmate Django, who has been doing his catly best to cheer up a weeping Mummy all day.


The male Marilyn of cats

You may rule the neighbourhood but I rule the cat flap! Mwah ha ha.

Mmmm we love fresh linen!

We also love Daddy...

Polishing cars with Django

Chilling in Bottom's Rest pub

I'm King of the bag!

You're not going anywhere Mummy and Daddy!

Chillin' after a hard day's catly duties

I saw this new fridge first ok?

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

So so sorry to read this. I can only imagine how devastated you all must be feeling right now. Mr Cheeky was at least lucky enough to be given a home by people who clearly loved him as much as you both did. My love and thoughts are with you all.

Anonymous said...

So very sorry to hear this. Poor Mr Cheeky. You gave him a lovely life though - I am so sorry it was not a happy ending. His kidnappers are scum. RIP Mr Cheeky.

Wisewebwoman said...

Aww I was hoping for a better ending. RIP Beauty Boy. 😪

XO
WWW

Anonymous said...

Im heartbroken for you...I just wonder what he was doing there, had he managed to escape bless him. Im so glad you now know what has happened him and not spent the rest of your lives wondering! Im so hurt for you the tears are rolling down my cheeks...
I know this is not the correct thing to do but I would spend hours now
walking around the area he was
found trying to see if anyone
looked similar to his kidnappers.
God bless dear Mr Cheeky. Xxxxc

Countess said...

Laura, I sadly have no words of comfort & am devastated to hear your news. It brings back the memories of when Leo was missing & I just wish that you'd had a happier ending to Mr Cheeky's disappearance. Tears are rolling down my cheeks, I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling that many of us 'knew' him. At least he's at peace now & hopefully didn't suffer. His legacy will live on, maybe through the fund raising which I hope to support. Sometimes fate plays its part in our lives & he was lucky to have such a charmed life with you all. I'm gutted for you & am sending virtual hugs from us all at White Lodge. I'll pm you tomorrow 😿 RIP Mr Cheeky😿 Have fun over the rainbow bridge, we will all never forget you Xx

Anonymous said...

So sorry to read your story about Mr Cheeky. What a fabulous life you gave him, one he wouldn't have had, had you not rescued him. Wonderful idea re the tea party, beautiful way to celebrate Mr Cheeky's life and raise funds for a very needy cause. I hope you have a full house for the event!

Unknown said...

Tragic final chapter and heartbreaking to know he was so close. Sleep peacefully Mr Cheeky you will be remembered by many.

Anonymous said...

So sorry for your loss, such sad news and not the closure you needed. Im glad they found you to inform you about your fur baby but stil..........words fail me...... my condolences. R.I.P Mr Cheeky you were a well loved and cherished by your true family.

Anonymous said...

heartbreaking just heartbreaking so very sorry for your loss xxxx

Anonymous said...

Cats rarely leave homes where they are lived and well looked after. People are cruel to keep cats that aren't there's and have no idea how much heartache there selisness causes to the families. PLEASE DON'T DO IT. so sorry for your loss. I know this is not the right time but consider revoking again. A new Burnaby can never replace the list one but you are saving them and these cats have a way of finding a place in your heart. Xx

jellingtonbean said...

So sorry about the sad ending but you are an amazingly loving and determined woman who did absolutely everything possible for Mr Cheeky. Plus raised awareness of danger for all cat owners in area. xxx

Sarah Denham said...

I'm so very sorry to hear this. I was following your search on fb & desperately hoped Mr Cheeky would find his way home to you. I hope you get the abowers and justice you are looking for. Sending you love & light.

Katy Fredricksson said...

I am so sorry for what has happened. I'm lying in bed with my furry girls lying on me and tears rolling down my face. I will definitely buy a ticket for the 19th Feb as it's my birthday and would love to spend the evening with fellow cat lovers. May Mr Cheeky rest in peace. Xxx

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear the news. You have written with such eloquence at your time of great sorrow. I have been following this story and am heartbroken at the outcome. I'll stroke my furbaby more and chastise her less for waking me. In memory of the happiness Mr Cheeky clearly bought you.

Anonymous said...

Truly heartbreaking news. Such a needless death of a beautiful loved cat.No words to appreciate just what you are going through or feeling right now just tears. RIP Mr Cheeky. Sleep tight. xx

Tanya said...

Absolutely heartbroken for you and for poor Mr Cheeky. Xx

Anonymous said...

We didnt know Mr Cheeky but we thought about him all the time since he went missing.Have followed the Facebook page daily...it was as if we knew him well.We just wished he could have been happily reunited with his loving owners,sadly thanks to some evil person the poor baby was killed.Have been in tears reading this..it is so sad,our love and prayers are with you all xxx

Jeanne said...

So sad to read - but at least knowing the final chapter stops you having to worry about him and what is happening to him. it it is not the final chapter we all hoped for. Thoughts are with you - he was loved by you in his short life. AND I hope the kidnappers are brought to justice for Mr Cheeky. RIP little guy you will be sadly missed by a lot of people who never met you too

Emmaintrepid said...

I send you my heartfelt condolences, as a total cat afficionada myself, I know how hard it is to lose a cat under any circumstances. At least one of mine was shot dead (and his body removed before we were able to collect it). I dearly hope that the police are able to follow up on the information you've received, and that the evil person(s) who took Mr Cheeky are held to account. What a beautiful tribute you have written to such an evidently fantastic feline. Best wishes, Emma

jmuhj said...

<3 ((((((((^^)))))))) <3 Fly free and forever Loved, Mr. Cheeky! And heartfelt condolences to his loved ones/family.

Not wanting to offend, but please, people, wherever you live, KEEP YOUR CATS INDOORS. Caring and responsible people do, for their cats' safety and their own peace of mind. Indoor environmental enrichment can be effected so that cats are happy indoors and lead rich, full lives. Mine do.

BLEACH said...

So very sorry he was found too late but happy to know at last your search for him is over To those scumbags who stole him I hope your life is spent in misery until you die then rot in hell

M said...

I am so sorry Laura, this is devastating to read. What a beautiful cat he was, a real character. How lucky to have had a loving family like yours.

Anonymous said...

We also adopted our cat from Lost Cats, and he is a key member of our family. We will donate to support you and in memory of Mr Cheeky. In our own way we understand your dreadful loss. So sorry to hear this news xxx

Anonymous said...

In bits just reading this so can only imagine how you are feeling. Hope you have some luck in finding those dreadful pair of heartless thieves who stole your boy. RIP Mr Cheeky. And sending you blessings.xx

Jane said...

I'm so sorry to read your very sad news. I want to send my best wishes to you at this very difficult time. I hope that the person(s) who stole Mr Cheeky are found & dealt with appropriately. Such a sad ending for a much loved family pet. RIP Mr Cheeky, you have gone to a much nicer place xx

Leila Adelaide said...

Oh my, I am so saddened by this really sad news. The delightful Mr.Cheeky gone. I, like so many others had hoped and prayed that you would get your lovely boy back safely. Sadly, it wasn't to be. Awful as it is, you at least know now and can grieve properly without that awful feeling of not knowing where he was.Big love and hugs from the land of Oz and thank you for sharing the wonderful photos of Mr. Cheeky - he was truly a lovely boy. ��������

Lina Soura said...

So so sorry for your loss ❤

Everycat said...

We are so sorry to learn of handsome Mr Cheeky's fate. One day, something suitable will befall the scum who stole him from his lovely life with you. These people are cowards. I hope the police take the latest information on board and find the culprits.

Mr Cheeky was a lovely cat, who obviously lived a very good life with you.

Run free Mr Cheeky, catch many mousies little one

Everycat xx

Anonymous said...

How sad Laura and Ollie. Take care, Dean & Carlos xx

Anonymous said...

Devastated by your heartbreaking news, it's just not fair. I would like to volunteer to put up posters with the images of those people captured on cctv, in the road and surrounding roads where he was last seen. Someone must know something and these people can't get away with what they have done - clearly they let him go because he was too hot to handle. They need to face the consequences of their actions.

Betty Blue Easton said...

Oh No .! Poor wee Mr Cheeky.
This is really awful news.
Acht..so very sad,right damn shame as must have been bumped on the road while on route to making his way back home to you.
Feeling overwhelming sadness but mixed with much anger as sitting here thinking all would never have happened if that selfish rotten couple hadn't stolen Mr Cheeky away from his own home in the first place.!
I hope it does comes to light soon & you do find out ones responsible for theft, which has also really led to wee souls death, left you with broken hearts. If found & turns out it is people living in your street, don't think it likely they'll be staying there much longer. Hopefully get hounded continually by angry animal lovers also staying in or around your town.. would need to move a.s.a.p - away out the district altogether!x


RIP Poor Innocent Cat
I'm so glad you got the chance,found kind owners & knew love during your time spent on earth living amongst whats now become a world full of evil humans beings.��x

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Thank you so much for all your heartfelt comments. I take the point about indoor cats but Mr Cheeky was having no truck with that. Although he consented to be locked in at night (and 95% of the time was unless we were late home, or on this particular night we both assumed the other had locked both cats in, but he gave us the slip). Anyway Mr Cheeky would bash his face against the cat flap until his nose bled during the daytime if he was not let out. He also had a huge need for the company of other humans and cats, which we did not realise when we first got him. He was massively sociable and had 'a paw in every door'. I guess this made him a high risk cat in some ways, but it was not one of our neighbours who stole him, but two random strangers - our neighbours are all devastated and he was perfectly safe with them, Lx

Jeannette said...

I'm gutted to hear how close he was to home Laura. I'd hoped he would get back one day to his home where he was clearly loved. It's no consolation but you've got closure and won't be spending any more time wondering where he is. I wish it had been a happier outcome for you, I can imagine your heartbreak. xx