A family were left heartbroken after discovering a deceased cat which looked identical to their family feline Simba, so they took the animal to get cremated
(Image: Kennedy News and Media)
Anyone who has ever had a pet will know that when they pass away, it truly is like losing a member of the family.
So you can imagine one family’s heartbreak, when their 14-year-old feline went missing overnight, and they discovered a dead black cat on the road by their home the following day.
Freddy and Sinead O’Cleirigh, from Belfast, were devastated when they discovered the cat, which had an identical patch of white fur on its chest, leading them to assume it was their family feline Simba.
“Simba hadn’t come back all night and my husband got up early to go to the gym when he saw a dead cat that had been hit by a car,” Sinead explained, adding: “We were crying and my sons were devastated.”
The couple tucked up the animal and took it to the vet, where they had an emotional ceremony and purchased a headstone to remember her by. They paid £60 for the moggy to be cremated and a further £25 for a headstone, to give Simba the send off she deserved.
“We’ve had her all of her life so we thought she deserves a proper send off because she’s such a big part of the family,” Sinead continued.
“We got her for Connell’s third birthday so he’s never known life without her. We were all devastated including my extended family.”
When they returned, they broke the new to their heartbroken son, Connell, 17, and Stiofan, five, but just a few hours later, the family were left dumbfounded when Simba turned up at their door.
She said: “We were trying to cheer the boys up with pizza then my son went to walk his girlfriend to the car and he saw a little cat come wandering down the drive.
“Everyone was screaming that Simba had come back from the dead and we were all so happy and celebrating.
“We explained to my youngest about the rainbow bridge and how that’s where cats and dogs go when they die so that’s completely ruined his illusion and now he thinks all our dead pets are coming back.”
CCTV footage even managed to capture the moment the lucky feline and Connell were reunited, with the teen clearly confused as he picked up Simba and ran into the house to share his discovery.
Fortunately, following the discovery the cremated cat was, in fact, not Simba, the family managed to use social media to track down the owner for the deceased animal and returned its ashes to them.
However, after sharing the mishap online, the couple has gone viral – with people as far as the United States getting in touch to comment.
“I posted what I’d done on social media and when Freddy went to work the next day, people were meowing at him and my phone was blowing up,” Sinead said.
“When I went into work, everyone knew about it. People from Florida have been messaging me, everyone has seen it and I was all over everyone’s news feeds.”
She added: “I’m just so embarrassed. It was a crazy day. I haven’t stopped laughing because I can’t believe it was me who did it. We got her a headstone and everything.”