Apr 22 2011 by Edwin Lawrence, Ayrshire Post (main ed)
He’s back from cat heaven – to say meow to his own shrine in Prestwick
HIS OWNER thought her moggie’s nine lives were finally used up.
And she even bought a memorial to her beloved pet.
But Debbie Martin was stunned when he walked back into her life.
“I was sure he had gone to cat heaven,” she said.
“We had searched and searched, and he’s such a defenceless cat.”
Readers may remember our appeal earlier this month for a wee ginger and white cat.
He has the unusual name of Laos – after the country in south-east Asia.
Debbie pronounces it L-ow (rhymes with Wow) as that’s the way the people who live there say it.
The Prestwick woman has back-packed in the region. And when she adopted a cat six years ago, she gave it the name Laos.
Debbie said: “I don’t know how old he was when I got him.
“But he came from a place where 40 cats were being kept in appalling conditions.
“He was in poor shape, and nearly didn’t survive.
“Treatment lasted six months before he was ready to re-home.
“So that was definitely one of his lives used up.”
Not long after Debbie adopted Laos, she travelled abroad again.
And friend Eve Jackson, originally from Mauchline, came to cat-sit Laos.
Eve said: “I was devastated when he got out of a window.
“I put up posters, and was out searching every day.
“Luckily, he came back just the day before Debbie and her mum came home.”
After that, Laos – who has just a couple of teeth, and who is scarred under the eyes – didn’t stray beyond the back garden in Prestwick’s Adamton Road South.
That was until he disappeared a couple of weeks back.
The Ayrshire Post took calls from people who saw cats like Laos in Ayr.
But Debbie was convinced the frail cat couldn’t cover that distance.
And when neighbourhood searches proved fruitless, she feared he must be dead.
She said: “All the neighbours either knew about him, or were out helping us search.”
Thirty-somethings Debbie and Eve held a tearful wake for Laos, raising a glass or two to the moggie.
And next day they went out to a garden centre to buy a memorial for Laos.
Lo and behold – or should that be Laos and behold – the cat turned up alive and well.
Debbie said: “A neighbour from just four doors away phoned to say Laos was in his garden.
“It was incredible. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
“I don’t know how many of his lives he’s used up now.
“But he’s staying inside from now on.
“I couldn’t go through this again – or put my mum and all the neighbours through it either.”