MYSTERY surrounds the paw-steps of a cat found 360 miles away in Torquay - but whose owner is thought to live in Hartlepool.
The black feline with white patches wandered into a care home complex in Torquay, Devon, and was being fed by the elderly people there.
But bosses at the complex said the cat could not stay for health and safety reasons, so telephoned the local animal rescue service, Feline Network.
Debbie Johnson, founder member of the service, took the animal to a vet where they discovered she had been micro-chipped in 2002, with her last known address registered to a Mr P Mitchell who lived in Borough Road, York – which is almost five hours away from where the cat was found.
The details also said that the cat – who she believes is at least 13-years-old – was called Cyril and had been neutered.
Debbie said she then contacted the RSPCA in York and an officer went around to the address in Borough Road but was told from the current owner of the house that Mr Mitchell had moved away around six years ago.
It is believed he moved to Hartlepool, and may have been a teacher.
Debbie, who has now given the cat, which they have renamed Molly, to a foster carer, said: “It’s just intriguing to know this cat’s story and it would be lovely to be able to reunite her with her owner.
“She was obviously a loved and cared for pet at one point in her life with her being chipped and neutered.
“It’s so strange how she’s ended up down here in Torquay when her last known address was four or five hours away up the country in York. Her original owner is now apparently living in the Hartlepool area.”
She added: “Apparently Mr Mitchell had moved several years ago so it would be lovely to find him and find out what she’s been doing all of this time.
“We may never know.
“If we can’t find Mr Mitchell or whoever owns the cat then the foster carer she’s with has become extremely attached to her and will keep her and care for her.”
Debbie has renamed the cat Molly for the time being as she thought Cyril was a strange name for a female pet.
Anyone with any information should contact Debbie on 07948624512.