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A family grieving for their dead cat got a "huge shock" when he turned up alive a few days after they’d cremated him.
Frankie, a 16-year-old tabby, went missing from his home in Warrington, Cheshire, some time around May 19.
After a desperate search, Frankie’s owner Rachel Fitzsimons believed she’d seen her cat lying dead on the nearby M6 motorway.
"The markings matched Frankie and we live close to the motorway, so we were sure it was him," Rachel said.
Believing her pet was dead, she rang the Highways Agency, and after the weekend workers went out to retrieved the dead animal.
Highways Agency workers recovered “Frankie’s” body and took it to a vet, but unfortunately, staff were unable to scan his chip.
However, when they told Rachel the body was that of a fluffy male tabby with white markings, she assumed they’d found her cat.
She collected the body from the vets, and together with her heartbroken family had the beloved pet cremated.
And that would have been where the story ended, except Frankie wandered into the family home a few days later, a little worse for wear but seemingly unaware that there had been any fuss.
Rachel said: "Then he came back, frail and hungry but alive.
"So we cremated someone else's cat."
She added: "He was bedraggled and very thin, meowing to come in as if nothing had happened.
"We all cried and we are still in shock. He's so lucky. We would like to know whose pet we have cremated!"
Rachel’s son Remy – who had been keeping the ashes of the cat he thought was Frankie in a box in his bedroom – told the BBC: "It's a miracle. We thought he had died."
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