Layton family reunited with precious pet cat believed to have been stolen three months ago
A Layton family has been reunited with their beloved pet cat three months after it is believed it was stolen from their front garden and stuffed into a bag.
Steven Bates, 47, and his mother Margie Moffat, 73, appealed for the safe return of their cat Elfie in The Gazette back in November, when it was believed the two-year-old tabby was stolen from the garden of their Cameron Avenue home.
Following the disappearance on November 26, Steve checked CCTV footage taken outside his home and observed a person carrying a large hold-all cycling from the direction of Devonshire Road. It was suspected this person had used the bag to catch little Elfie.
Steve feared the worst - but last week, almost four months after Elfie vanished without a trace, he was informed that a cat closely resembling his pet had been found wandering in the Cherry Tree Road area of Blackpool. A quick microchip scan confirmed it was indeed Elfie.
Margie said: "It's just a miracle, really. I certainly never expected to get him back after all this time. He didn't just go missing, we think he was stolen from our front garden, so I wasn't holding out much hope at all. But we never really gave up; we posted hundreds of flyers around the area.
"When Steve let me know that some pictures had been taken of him near Pizza Hut and showed them to me I started crying. I just couldn't believe he was Elfie. It was so emotional that there was a possibility of him coming back home.
"He has had to settle in and he's getting back to normal now. I can finally put my mind at rest. When he was missing he was constantly on my mind."
Margie said she believes Elfie was been living with someone until shortly before he was found, as he was a good weight and did not seem malnourished - but was suffering from a chest infection.
"We suspect that somebody has had him, and because he has developed this chest infection they proabbly knew they couldn't take him to a vets because the microchip would have shown him as a missing cat, so they have dumped him," she said.