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Lola’s Miracle Story

On 15th August 2016, my life changed when my little girl didn't return home after being let out to play with her brother. It was so unlike her to leave the garden let alone disappear and not come home. I woke up the following morning hoping that her little face would be at the back window, but there was still no sign. Family and friends said she might have just wandered as “that's what cats do”. I posted on my Facebook page and asked friends to share it.

Days went by and there was still no sign. I made some posters and leaflets - over 400 to be precise - and started to distribute them in the area, put posters in local shops and on lamp posts and trees. The phone calls started to come in on a daily basis of 'sightings' of her. I literally dropped everything I was doing and went straight to where people had seen her, but it lead to nothing. I went out early in the morning, and on a few occasions, in the middle of the night - but no luck.

By this time, the clock was ticking and people were starting to lose hope of me getting her home including my partner. I took advantage of social media and kept sharing my posts, pleading for people to check their sheds, garages and their gardens, and even offered a reward for her return. That drew a few more people in, but nothing led to her return.

After she had been missing about 3 months, I had a phone call from a lady in Old Trafford, to say she had got a cat that she believed was Lola. Although it was a distance to us, I drove there but unfortunately it wasn't Lola. The lady still insisted I took the cat, so I took it to a vet where it was luckily chipped, and was then reunited with its owner. Although I was pleased I had helped the little cat, I was still beating myself up that it wasn't Lola.

Christmas passed and everyone told me just to give up. A family member actually told me "she’s probably dead and been eaten by a fox". My heart was in my mouth and I ran off crying. Me, my Mum, Dad and Pat (Trafford Cats Protection's Homing Officer) were the only ones that still believed there was still and chance that my little girl was still alive, and kept me going not to give up. More sightings came in the New Year, but still did not lead to Lola's return.

One day when I witnessed a dog being knocked over and the driver just drove off leaving it. I stopped my car in the road, put on my hazard warning lights and stopped the traffic. With the help of some other people we got little dog and I took her to the vets to get her checked over. I took her home, where I nursed, fed and wrapped her in blankets, until the Dog Warden could collect her and take her to Manchester Dogs Home to be rehomed (as she was unfortunately a stray).

At this point I felt I was doing all these right things and helping other animals, but not getting the safe return of my little girl. Two days later, I got a message on Facebook from a lady to say she thought she knew where Lola was. She believed she was at the Debenhams loading bay at the Trafford Centre. Without hesitation, I went to check it out. I walked into the loading bay and couldn't believe what I was seeing…sat on a box, looking petrified was my little Lola Bug (as we call her at home).

The rush of emotions I got that split second - my legs went like jelly, my stomach turned and I just broke down in tears (I'm actually crying as I write this). The moment I'd waited for 5 months had finally happened. I said "Oh Lola" and her face brightened up and she meowed to me. I got on my knees and crawled over to her trying not to startle her. I started to stroke her, giving her some treats but then a crowd of people came out of Debenhams scaring her and she ran off.

I couldn't believe it!!! I thought that was it. I turned round and screamed. I thought I'd lost her again. My mum said we should go back in an hour or two, leave some food out and she might come back. "Just keep positive" she said. That's when I thought, I need Pat’s help. I rang her and, with no hesitation, she told me she was on her way to pick me up.

It took a good 45 minutes to an hour but we did it. We encouraged Lola towards us - with some sardines. Pat was ready with her special cat basket - the bottom could be removed - and the top part was just placed over Lola, not stressing her in the slightest. We took Lola home, where Pat scanned her for a microchip - just to be on the safe side.

The microchip number matched!!!...and my Mum, Pat and I broke down in tears. The relief and thrill of having her safe back at home was the best feeling in the world. Shortly after, my partner walked through the door and couldn't believe it was her. He couldn't get to over to her quick enough to give her a good scratch!!!

For the first 2 days, she just slept and ate - she was exhausted, but now 4 days on, she is back playing with her toys with her brother and has the sparkle back in her eye!!!

Holly Phillips

 

 Pictured Lola - safe, happy and back home.

Lola

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