Buckingham woman’s delight as cat taken by stranger is found – after 53 days

Nutmeg was apparently taken from Page Hill and left to fend for herself in Radclive, but she has been reunited with her owner after kind staff at Buckingham Garden Centre spotted her living wild
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

A Buckingham woman has spoken of her delight at being reunited with her pet cat after she was missing for nearly two months.

Back in October we reported on Sophie Ashley-Carter’s distress after her cat Nutmeg went missing from her home on Wharfside Place and Sophie was left a disturbing note saying her pet had been captured and dumped miles away, due to it ‘killing wildlife’ in a Page Hill garden.

The note said: "This cat was caught in a humane trap, where it remained until released a few hours later…It was released in an area near Radclive and the golf course in the hope it would find a new home and not find it’s way back to Buckingham."

Reunited: Nutmeg back at home with owner SophieReunited: Nutmeg back at home with owner Sophie
Reunited: Nutmeg back at home with owner Sophie

At the time, Sophie, aged 55, who spent hours knocking on doors in Radclive to try and find Nutmeg, said: “I am sickened by this and how they could take the law in their own hands, when it’s someone’s beloved pet.”

And she appealed for people in the Radclive area to keep their eyes open for the 18-month-old tortoiseshell with a distinctive face.

But this week, the story has had a surprise happy ending, as Nutmeg has been found and returned to her delighted owner, thanks to the kind staff at Buckingham Garden Centre.

Sophie said: "I received a phone call to say a cat like mine had been caught by a humane trap at Buckingham Garden Centre. They had observed the cat around the centre for the past two weeks.

Sophie, centre, with Buckingham Garden Centre staff Yolanda and JaneSophie, centre, with Buckingham Garden Centre staff Yolanda and Jane
Sophie, centre, with Buckingham Garden Centre staff Yolanda and Jane

“The lovely Jane, who works there, is a huge cat lover, and she borrowed the trap and a chip scanner from Cats Protection. She asked me to read out Nutty’s identichip number, and it was her!”

Sophie went on: “I was shaking from head to toe and rushed out of work to get down to the garden centre. We walked down to the bottom of the centre, to where they had the cat in their work shed.

"I very nervously stepped inside, thinking “What if this is incorrect?’ and we were reunited! It was very emotional.”

Nutmeg is now back safe and warm at home with Sophie’s four other cats, and Sophie said: “She’s really good, she’s back to the same naughty Nutty. She doesn’t leave my side and follows me around everywhere.”

Sophie believes Nutmeg was taken from Page Hill and dumped in Radclive behind the golf club.

She said: “My cat miraculously survived 53 days in the middle of nowhere, so we must try and make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else’s beloved pet. If you have a cat in the Page Hill area, be very aware.

And she added: “I can’t thank Jane and the wonderful team at Buckingham Garden Centre who relentlessly took time out looking for Nutty, even at weekends. I will be making a donation to Cats Protection.

“I’m so happy to have her home and it’s such a relief to stop worrying 24/7.”