Thursday, March 25, 2010
By James Tozer
Mail Online News
They say cats have nine lives - but no one seriously expects them to come back from the dead.
Yet that is what Alfie the ginger tom appeared to have done nine months after apparently being killed by a car.
Owner Angelo Petrillo buried what he believed to be his pet's battered body after a friend spotted it on the side of a road near his home.
Soon afterwards Mr Petrillo, 39, and his wife Katy moved house, along with their other cat Freddie, also a ginger tom. But a few days ago, they received a phone call from their former neighbour.
'They said a ginger cat had been trying to get into our old home, going up to the front and back doors, and they thought it was ours,' said Mr Petrillo, who works for an energy company.
'But we said Freddie was asleep with us so there must have been a mistake.
'Then they said the cat was climbing on to the conservatory and trying to get in the bedroom window, which is exactly what our two did.
'My wife and I looked at each other, and she said "Are you totally sure it was Alfie that you buried?", and I said "Yes, 100 per cent".'
The next day, however, the neighbours said the cat had remained outside all night, meowing pitifully.
Mrs Petrillo, 35, a manager for a wine company, returned to the couple's old home a mile away - and immediately recognised the cat as Alfie.
The three-year-old had lost the collar he used to wear and had put on weight, suggesting someone else had been looking after him while he was being mistakenly mourned.
Mr Petrillo said: 'It was just unbelievable - the cat I had buried nine months earlier, the cat we spent about a month grieving over, was back, and my wife just couldn't believe what she was seeing.'
Just one mystery remains: Who was the ginger tom killed last summer and where is the family that looked after it?
Mr Petrillo had examined the body of the cat found beside a sliproad on the M62 near their home in Milnrow, Greater Manchester, last June and was convinced it was Alfie.
But nine months on, the family are overjoyed that he was wrong - everyone, that is, apart from their other cat, five-year-old Freddie. 'They're not getting on very well at the moment, but hopefully he'll settle in again,' said Mr Petrillo.
The couple are having both cats microchipped to ensure there is no confusion if either goes missing again.