Axolotl owner found after Norwich family cat comes home with rare find

Axolotl picked up by Kate Jones' cat.

Axolotl picked up by Kate Jones' cat. - Credit: Archant

It's not every day your cat comes home with an endangered species as a gift.

But 50-year-old Kate Jones was shocked when her partner Rob Grant found an axolotl - also known as a Mexican walking fish - dropped on her door mat.

It makes a change from the usual array of pigeons and mice which turn up in their Norwich home from their nine-year-old cat, Badger.

Around 11.50pm last night, Badger had posted the axolotl through the front door on Onley Street, off Unthank Road, and the family rushed to get it into water, thankfully unharmed.

'It was about 11.50pm last night and my partner came into the room saying, 'I don't know how to tell you this',' said Ms Jones.

'I had never heard of an axolotl and it sounds more like a Scrabble word than an animal. We were up until about 3am Googling it, because at first we thought it was a salamander.

'We wanted to give the poor thing a chance, and it had skin that looked like it should be in water. Once we dropped it in it breathed a sigh of relief and its gills started working again.'

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Ms Jones is keen to reunite the axolotl with the owner.

Badger has been known to hunt and collect rubber bands around the family home, but the latest find has been the most bizarre, said Ms Jones. 'She is quite a lazy cat and doesn't go out very often, but it came back in last night and just dropped this thing on the mat. She hadn't hurt it so it can't have been very tasty. I don't think it can have travelled very far. 'As all cat owners know it is usually some horrible bird or mice they bring in, but nothing this unusual.

'It is like a piece of salmon with gills and legs.'

Within two hours the appeal had found its way to their neighbour just two doors along, who had been busy at work blissfully unaware of its fate.

The axolotl will now be returned to its home in the nearby back garden; likely kept more securely for the next time Badger is on the prowl.

Axolotls are closely related to the tiger salamander, and is not a fish but an amphibian, despite its nickname. By 2010 wild axolotls were near extinction and are currently listed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora as an endangered species.

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