Missing Cat Returns Home Days After Family Thinks They Have Cremated Him

A family had a shock when they cremated what they thought was their pet cat, only for the animal to turn up alive and well a few days later.

The Fitzsimons family in Cheshire, England, have a 16-year-old tabby cat called Frankie, who went missing from their home on May 19. The family searched the local area, with help from their neighbors, but Frankie wasn't to be found.

Days later, Rachel Fitzsimons was driving on the freeway when she saw a dead cat that looked just like Frankie. She and her husband John tried to get close enough to the cat to identify him as Frankie, but the cat was too badly injured for the couple to confirm if it was their pet cat.

Rachel told the Warrington Guardian: "The markings matched Frankie and we live close to the [freeway], so we were sure it was him."

They contacted Highways England, the company that maintains major roads in England, who initially thought the animal was a badger, according to a Facebook post by Rachel.

But when they checked again, they retrieved the cat and confirmed that its markings matched Frankie's. However, they were unable to scan the cat's microchip.

The Fitzsimons family collected what they thought was their cat and had the body cremated. As Frankie used to sleep on seven-year-old Remy's bed, they kept the cat's ashes in their son's room.

However, a few days later, John thought he heard Frankie and went running to the back door—Frankie had returned.

Rachel told the Warrington Guardian: "He was bedraggled and very thin, meowing to come in as if nothing had happened," and told the BBC that Frankie was "frail and hungry but alive."

She said they all cried and are still in shock. When the cat appeared, Remy said: "It's a miracle. We thought he had died," as reported by the BBC.

Rachel added: "He's so lucky. We would like to know whose pet we have cremated."

Another lucky cat who returned home after going missing is one-year-old Flea, who went missing from her home in Northamptonshire, England, in April.

Flea's owners frantically searched for her for days before they found her at the bottom of a well, alive. But the cat being found alive is not even the most remarkable thing about this story—Flea was found a neighbor's dog, who stood over the well and barked for help.

The local firefighting department arrived with the animal rescue unit. They said there was about a foot of water in the bottom of the well, but the cat was sitting on a ledge. Other than being "bedraggled and hungry," Flea was otherwise safe and healthy.

Newsweek has contacted Rachel Fitzsimons for comment.

Tabby cat
Stock image of a cat. A missing cat returned home days after his family thought they cremated him. fermate/Getty