Experts help to find beloved missing cat in Norwich

Calling in the experts has paid off for a worried pet owner in Costessey after her beloved cat was found safe and well.

Animal Search UK was brought across from Herefordshire at great expense to Leila Bidwell, of Santolina Close, Costessey, in a desperate attempt to find her three-year-old black and white cat, Ricky.

The pet had gone missing after a recent move to the area from Mousehold Heath.

After being kept indoors for six weeks to acclimatise to the move, Miss Bidwell allowed the animal to start exploring its new surroundings.

But on Monday, April 11, Ricky went missing and his worried owner could not sit by and wait to find out whether he would return or not.

So she forked out hundreds of pounds to bring the experts 220 miles across the country to launch an investigation last Wednesday.

During the search, 'missing' posters were given out and to Miss Bidwell's delight, her cat was back home with her on Friday.

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Tom Watkins. founder and principal search co-ordinator, said: 'We have good news as Ricky has been found thanks, in part, to our search.

'After a couple of sightings owner, Leila, went out to see if she could track him down and while en route back from one of the sightings she found him.

'So we have one very tired and happy owner who is thrilled with everything we did to help, because we did have lots of responses from people with sightings of Ricky.'

Miss Bidwell found the cat at 4am on Friday morning after being advised that it was often easier to find pets at night when there is less noise and your voice can be better heard.

Her pet was around a mile away from her home, on Town House Road, Costessey, and recognised her straight away.

She said: 'I probably hadn't slept since he'd been gone, I'd been looking every night. But the rescue company had distributed a lot of leaflets which had their 24-hour helpline phone number on.

'Every call they got they notified me about and there had been a couple of sightings about two miles away, so I went down the road to investigate myself.

'I had been wandering around for a couple of hours and was almost ready to give up when I just saw his eyes flicker under a van in someone's drive.

'I've taken him to the vet for a check up and there is nothing wrong with him, but I think I have finally found a collar that he can't get off now!'

Miss Bidwell added that the cost of hiring Animal Search UK had been well worth the money, saying: 'I don't think I would have found him without them so I was really pleased with their whole service.'

Have you lost something important? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email

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