Gracie the house kitten has certainly used up one of her nine lives - by amazingly surviving for five days in the freezing blizzards.
Frantic owner Samantha Chandler had just about given up hope of the eight-month-old pet still being alive, when she was found half frozen behind a shed after nearby residents heard a faint cry.
Gracie, who is the beloved pet of Samantha’s daughter, six-year-old Leah Barnett, is not allowed out of the family’s Kipling Avenue home in Blackhall because of fears she will wander onto the railway tracks.
But, she managed to sneak out through the kitchen window while the 25-year-old businesswoman was cooking.
Samantha said they began searching for Gracie on the afternoon when they realised she was missing.
She said: “I was frantic, we were searching all over, I put posters up and leaflets through doors and it has been all over social media.
I have no idea how she managed to surviveSamantha Chandler
“The first night I thought she would just come back, but when the weather started to get so bad I was giving up hope that she could possibly survive in these temperatures.”
However, after five long days of worry and horrendous blizzards, Samantha got word that someone had heard a faint meowing in a nearby street.
She said: “I raced around there and was calling her, but couldn’t hear anything. Then I spotted some tiny paw prints in the snow and followed them.
“They went into a garden and I found her behind the shed.
“She was so pleased to see me. I have no idea how she managed to survive in those conditions.”
Gracie is very skinny, her tail was frozen solid and she has a few minor cuts to her paws, but otherwise she is none the worse for her ordeal which ended when she was reunited with her family last Friday.
Samantha said: “I am just so relieved that she is home. I can’t thank everyone enough for helping to look for her, especially the person who reported hearing her.”