Millie has been reunited with her grateful owner and is now recovering from her ordeal
A cat which had been missing for 24 days and was found trapped on a 40 high roof of Sainsbury’s depot in Blackpool has been reunited with her grateful owner following a rescue operation carried out by the RSPCA.
Milly had been spotted high up in some beams in the roof of Sainsbury’s depot in Talbot Street by a member of staff on September 16 after she had been missing from home since September 6.
The worker saw an appeal made by Milly’s owner on social media to try and trace her missing pet – and contacted her as this cat matched the description.
Katie (31), who has a daughter called Ella aged 10, went to visit the depot and realised it was Milly – but she was unable to entice her down to safety.
She said her beloved pet had fallen from a bedroom window of her home in Jackson Street, Layton, which she had left slightly open while she was at work.
When she returned the window was wide open and she thinks Milly must have leaned against it and fallen out onto the street below.
It is believed Milly, a house cat, must have got spooked and possibly hid in a Sainsbury’s delivery van – which was why she ended up at the depot about a mile away from home.
Kate visited the scene on a number of occasions to try to entice Milly from the roof which was on the same level as a car park exit ramp but she was too frightened to move.
Over the following days the RSPCA and fire service (pictured right) made attempts to rescue the frightened feline but were unable to catch her.
RSPCA Animal rescuers Inspector Amy McIntosh and Inspector Carl Larson were sent to the scene to locate Milly and on September 23 and set a trap on a ledge to try catch her.
The trap was placed high in the near the rafters which could be accessed from the exit ramp air vent, which was level with the roof, and they left Milly some fresh food and water inside.
They also called for the assistance of Lancashire Fire Servicewho tried using a high-rise platform to get to Milly – with a safety net underneath – but she was terrified of the noise and kept jumping from rafter to rafter. So they decided to try another method.
On Tuesday, September 28 the RSPCA then took Katie to try and encourage Milly to safety but she was too scared so they left her some tuna to eat in the trap.
The following morning she was found to have set off the trap but was perched on top of the cage – and ran off when help came.
That night the trap was reset this time with Milly’s blanket from home and some more fresh tuna.
The following morning (Thursday, September 30) she was found to have made her way safely inside and was then returned to her grateful owner.
Kate said: “I was so pleased to get Milly back – and she has certainly made me worry for the past three weeks while she was not at home.
“I realised she had gone when returned from work and could see the window wide open.
“I was frantic and tried to find her locally but no-one had seen her. Then I made some posters to put up in the area and also put out some appeals on social media to see if anyone had come across Milly.
“After a few days later I got a call from a Sainsbury’s worker saying they had spotted her – but she was high up in the depot roof. The staff at the depot were great and would take me to see Milly to see if I could encourage her down – they also fed her while she was stuck.
“I am just so grateful to everyone who helped from the staff at Sainsbury’s who cared for Milly and offered her food to the fire service for their attempts to rescue her and the RSPCA for finally getting her safely in a trap.
“It was a fantastic team effort and everyone was so kind and helpful. Amy from the RSPCA spent hours out of her work time helping me and taking me to see Milly – she was fantastic.
“I am just so happy Milly is safe and well – she was very timid when she first arrived home after a frightening adventure but she has since settled back in and is enjoying plenty of attention. Ella is thrilled she is home.”
Amy said: “It was a relief when we found Milly had actually entered the trap and we could then get her safely home.
“She seemed very nervous but was so pleased to see Katie and Ella and no doubt enjoyed plenty of cuddles and food to help her recover from her ordeal.
“The workers at Sainsbury’s were great and helped keep an eye on Milly and fed her while she was stuck – and the fire service were also brilliant in trying to help.
“But it seems like the lure of tuna and Milly’s favourite blanket from home was just the encouragement she needed.”
Amy added that this case highlights the importance of getting pets microchipped – so if they are lost they can be returned home.
Thousands of pets are lost every year and many are never reunited with their owners but microchipping can help to change that. While collars and tags can get caught or removed – microchipping identifies pets permanently and effectively.
Microchipping is a very quick and easy procedure. It involves a tiny microchip being quickly and simply inserted under the animal’s skin and this then gives the pet their own unique code. It is also relatively cheap so there is really no reason why an owner should not take the time to chip their pets.
The microchip can be scanned and matched to the owner’s contact details which are kept on a database.
If an owner moves house or changes their telephone number they must make sure that they tell the database they are registered with so that they have up-to-date contact details.
For more information about microchipping, visit the RSPCA website: www.rspca.org.uk/microchipping.
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit our website or call our donation line on 0300 123 8181.