Harborough couple launched huge search when David Bowie the cat went missing - and found him two days later in an unexpected place
A distraught couple who launched a full-scale search for their missing cat found him two days later at their next-door neighbour’s.
Ben Jelley, 32, and his girlfriend Charlotte Skelton, 26, leapt into action when their beloved kitten David Bowie, also known as Bow, vanished in Market Harborough.
The two devastated pet-lovers forked out £150 on street appeal posters and setting up a special Facebook page.
So the couple, who also have a two-year-old cat called Sergeant Pepper, were stunned, relieved and thrilled after tracking down Bow to the house next door.
Ben, of Ashton Rise, off Lubenham Hill, Harborough, said: “We couldn’t believe it!
“We spent a lot of money and put in so much time and effort looking for Bow.
“And the little scrap was just feet away in the neighbour’s home all the time.”
He added: “We were both worried sick.
“Poor Charlotte dotes on our cats – she loves them to bits.
“She was far more concerned about Bow than if I’d suddenly disappeared into thin air!”
Ben said the bizarre drama started when Bow went missing on Thursday January 23.
“It was very odd and out of character as he only really ventures out into our back garden.
“We didn’t see Bow all day Friday and that’s when we started to get very anxious,” he said.
“I feared he may have been crushed by the busy building traffic up here but I obviously didn’t tell Charlotte that.
“We couldn’t just sit there worrying.
“So I had 50 posters printed up appealing to people to keep an eye out and tied them to local lamp-posts on Lubenham Hill and beyond.
“I also set up a Facebook appeal page to keep the momentum going.
“And I alerted all the vets in Harborough – and they were all amazing, very helpful.”
Ben, who runs his own organic vodka-making business, said they clocked up about six miles walking all over town on Saturday night.
“We’d had no luck and we were back in our own street when we heard the faintest miaow possible.
“It was that weak it took us about half an hour to trace where the noise was coming from,” he said.
“We tracked it to our next-door neighbour Richard’s house.
“He’d gone away so we lifted up his letterbox and heard more miaows floating downstairs.
“We knew straight away it was our little Bow.”
They finally managed to get hold of Richard later that night after explaining their plight to his daughter on Facebook.
“He’d gone away to the Cotswolds for a long weekend and was due to return on Monday night.
“But he was fantastic and drove back on Sunday a day early,” said Ben.
“We all trooped upstairs and there was Bow in his bedroom.
“He’d gone to the toilet in his bath – so it could have been worse.
“Bow was frail and looked very stressed.
“But he’s recovering quickly and him and Sergeant Pepper have spent ages cleaning each other.
“We can only think the little monkey ran into Richard’s house and hid when he was loading up his car to go away.”
He’s now shelled out on £100 GPS tracker collars for both Bow and Sergeant Pepper.
“He won’t be doing this again.
“We are ever so grateful to Richard and we bought him a bottle of Champagne for being so great,” said huge Bowie and Beatles fan Ben.
“We’ve also had huge interest from local people who’ve read our posters so we’d like to thank them as well.
“Bow put us both through a real nail-biting time.
“But the main thing is we’ve got him back safe and sound – and we’ll be watching him night and day from now on!”