A family believed they cremated their lost cat - until he came home nearly a month later

Business Insider US
Right: Rachel Fitzsimons' family cat, Frankie, poses next to a box containing ashes of a cremated cat the family mistakenly thought was their own.
Courtesy of Rachel Fitzsimons
  • A family that lost their cat said they found and cremated another one that looked just like him.
  • After weeks of mourning the loss of Frankie, they said he returned home.
  • Frankie's owner, Rachel Fitzsimons, said that the family cat is approximately 16 years old.
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When Rachel Fitzsimons saw a cat corpse on the side of the road, she thought it was her 16-year-old tabby, Frankie, who was lost at the time.

Fitzsimons, who lives in Warrington, a town in England, said that Frankie didn't come home the night of May 19, and by May 20, the family was worried.

"We searched all over for him and had lots of people looking," Fitzsimons said. "The weather was awful so we knew he would come home if he could."

Two days later, Fitzsimons said she saw a dead cat on the highway shoulder.

"It looked just like him," she said. "My husband then walked down the grass verge of the motorway and got as close as he could down the grass verge but couldn't tell if it was him."

The cat had no head, and its body appeared injured, but its markings matched Frankie's, she said.

On May 24, Fitzsimons said a highway agency gathered the body but couldn't scan the cat's microchip because its head was missing.

"We went and collected him and they told us not to look in the bag," she added.

That's when Fitzsimons said she called the vet to figure out what to do with the body.

"I couldn't bear the thought of half of him being buried in the garden," she said. "They said we could have him cremated so we took the bag there straight away and handed him over."

Fitzsimons said that she collected the ashes on Monday, and her 7-year-old son, Remy, who used to sleep with Frankie, put them by his bed. However, on Thursday morning, Fitzsimons said Frankie arrived at home, and the whole family cried.

Frankie was "bedraggled and very thin, meowing to come in as if nothing had happened," she said.

Remy sleeps with his cat, Frankie.
Courtesy of Rachel Fitzsimons

Fitzsimons said they're still in shock over the incident.

"He's so lucky as are we," she added.

Fitzsimons said Frankie is a rescue cat and they've had him for 14 years.

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