Published: 06:00, 26 August 2021
A missing moggie from Seasalter has been discovered 27 miles away on the Isle of Sheppey - nine months after disappearing during a feared cat-napping spree.
The RSPCA had been investigating claims unsuspecting felines were being caught in a trap and abducted after eight went missing from one area within a year.
The high number of disappearances in Florence Avenue and Shamrock Avenue sparked an outcry from residents.
Now, Barbara Binding, 67, has been reunited with her Penny, who went missing on Guy Fawkes Night last year.
She had initially assumed the 13-month-old cat had been spooked by a firework.
But since she learned there was a possible cat-napper in the area reportedly using a trap, she believed her pet had been snatched.
Penny has now been discovered in Leysdown on the Isle of Sheppey.
Ms Binding said: “She was first seen in December with a group of other cats.
“Apparently there are seven caravan sites where she was found and she was roaming with this group of cats.
“Caravan owners take their cats, lose them and they go off into the fields.”
One kind-hearted lady on the island, who feeds the strays, took Penny into her care for about 12 weeks before she took her to the vets to see if she had been micro-chipped - and she had.
On August 12, Ms Binding received a phone call to say her pet had been found.
“It was absolutely fantastic,” she added. “We had the problem of bonding her with her twin sister again.
“The first night they had a few hisses at each other, but now they are back to normal like they’ve never been apart.”
Remarkably, Penny was uninjured and her fur was in very good condition.
The walking distance between Florence Avenue and Leysdown is about 27.2 miles, via the Sheppey Crossing or Kingsferry Bridge.
“There is no way she could have walked that far, so it was on transportation,” Ms Binding added.
“She couldn’t have walked from Whitstable across the sea so how she got there we can only assume, but we don’t know.”
Penny is no longer allowed outside over fears the “catnapper” could strike again.
It comes after another of the eight cats - who went missing on April 9 - was found alive miles away from home in Sandwich on June 4.
Owner Jayne Dawkins was told her beloved 14-year-old cat Clearoff had been found uninjured, but had lost 1.6kg and had a high heart rate of 220bpm.
Although mystery still surrounds how Clearoff ended up so far away from home, Mrs Dawkins previously told how she was “100% confident” he was stolen.
The disappearances of other cats in the Florence Avenue area still remain a mystery.
The RSPCA previously confirmed it was investigating reports of a number of cats allegedly being caught in a trap and going missing in the Seasalter area, but later confirmed police were leading the probe.
A spokesperson for the force said they received a report on April 15 of concern that cats had gone missing in the Florence Avenue area of Whitstable. “PCSOs attended the area and spoke to residents,” they said.
“Having carried out a number of enquiries, including reviewing submitted material, no offences have been identified. The RSPCA is aware.”