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Mystery of tabby cat disappearances in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 12:06 20 December 2011 | UPDATED: 18:49 20 December 2011

Gini Dorling-Winterbourne with a picture of her cat Little Lucy. She suspects foul play following a number of tales of tabby cats going missing. PHOTO: JOE WILKES.

Gini Dorling-Winterbourne with a picture of her cat Little Lucy. She suspects foul play following a number of tales of tabby cats going missing. PHOTO: JOE WILKES.

Archant

Cat owners in the Norwich area have been left distraught after a spate of disappearances involving pets with similar markings.

Gini Dorling-Winterbourne, of Craske Drive, Rackheath, says six cats have gone missing from the same street in the space of a few weeks.

Ms Dorling-Winterbourne, 45, who runs a Mod clothing stall at Norwich market, posted a message on Facebook two weeks ago about her missing three-month-old cat Lucy, who she nursed back to health after it was born disabled.

Soon her friends from the street and others online were telling her of their lost cats.

And, to add to the mystery, all have tabby markings.

Ms Dorling-Winterbourne said: “It is breaking my little boy’s heart. I know our road has had six go missing and that’s just our tiny street.

“The local shop lady, who knows everything, has had lots of people come in saying they have lost cats; I’d like to know how many have.

“There has got to be someone who is poisoning them, killing, stealing, or doing something with them.

“It is worrying to hear they are all tabbies, because people will take cats to sell their fur. People that don’t care about them like we do.

“If this is going on we have to get it stopped.”

Sascha Appleyard, 42, from Holworthy Road, Bowthorpe, had a tabby cat go missing and advertised on Facebook and the website Gumtree.

She said: “I had a lot of people come to me and say a lot of cats are going missing.

“It seems really strange; it seems to be all tabbies.

“I know in the past people have stolen cats for fur, to sell in Europe, and for experiments.

“A woman on Gumtree said cat rescue centres have had more calls than usual about cats going missing.”

Cats of the same type or colour have vanished in spates before, referred to as vanishing by colours and there are fears a cat fur trade exists in Britain.

Judy Singleton is co-owner of Castaways Wildlife and Small Animal Rescue based in New Costessey and Dereham.

She said: “We have had a few going missing recently which is quite bizarre, they often go missing in colours.

“It is very mysterious; no one seems to know where they go. It has been going on for many years and I would love to know.

“Last year in Lingwood it was black and white cats.

“I’ve heard cases where they’ve been used for dog fighting or sold over the continent for fur coats.

“We try to give positive advice because no one wants to hear something horrible may have happened to their cat.

“But it is worrying, every year, and is quite widespread.”

Have you had a similar experience? Contact Joe Wilkes on 01603 772 439 or email joe.wilkes@archant.co.uk

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