ENGLAND – A very curious cat who went missing during a 2,000-mile journey has been reunited with its rescuer after an international search on social media.
Oopa – who is a feral cat from the Greek island of Zante – was on the way to its new home in Macclesfield, Cheshire, after befriending Hannah Wilkinson while she was on holiday.
However, after travelling through Italy, France, Luxemburg, Belgium and back into France, Oopa – who was being transferred by an animal rescue charity – went completely missing when he reached the English Channel.
Hannah, who is 32, of The Whitfields, Macclesfield, had arranged to adopt Oopa through a Greek animal rescue centre which gave him his passport and vaccinations and agreed to transport him alongside other rescue cats to England.
However, a distraught Hannah, who was waiting for his arrival in Macclesfield, launched a frenzied social media appeal after learning that he had gone missing from the Eurotunnel terminal in Calais, France.
She put out pictures all over Twitter and Facebook and contacted animal rescue centres at home and abroad, the Manchester Evening News reports.
And, after not sleeping and just trawling posts for two days, she finally found the clue she was looking for – hungry Oopa had been spotted stealing food from a burger chain in Calais.
Hannah stated: “I spotted a message on a pet alert site from a French woman whose friend posted a picture of a cat which stole his burger in McDonalds. I couldn’t believe it – it was Oopa.”
Eurotunnel staff quickly jumped into action and were stunned to find Oopa sitting in the car park of the Calais restaurant. And with the help of a volunteer named Fay Franklin, who lives in Kent and offered to retrieve Oopa from France, Hannah and Oopa were reunited.
Hannah, who is a hospital operating department practitioner who lives with parents Jenny and John, was on holiday with her mom in Zante when homeless Oopa jumped on her lap during a storm.
She fed him each and every day and named him after the Greek exclamation word ‘Oopa’. She stated: “I had to adopt Oopa, he would have starved in Greece.
“If it wasn’t for social media, there’s no way we would have found Oopa. So many amazing people helped get him back.
“Oopa is the word Greeks shout during celebrations, it’s like saying ‘oh wow’, so it’s even more fitting now. Hundreds of people celebrated when Oopa was found, it’s a miracle.
“He’s definitely lost all his nine lives.”