An investigation has been launched after a cat was locked in a suitcase and thrown into a freezing canal.
The poor puss was only saved from drowning by a quick thinking passer-by who heard the cat’s terrified cries and fished the case out of the water.
He unzipped it to find the bedraggled cat inside, before it shot up a tree. The Good Samaritan managed to coax it down and took it home for the night.
The pedigree feline, which is believed to have been stolen, was discovered in the Aylesbury Arm of the Grand Union Canal near Broughton Lane, Aylesbury on Tuesday last week.
The next morning, the man who found the cat took it to Companion Care Vets in Pets At Home in Aylesbury, where he told staff he wanted to rehome it if no owner was found.
But staff scanned its microchip to discover the puss was an Asian cat called Jeremy and were able to reunite him with his owner.
Jeremy’s owner was absolutely distraught that something so awful could have happened to him, but she was so pleased to have him back.Veterinary nurse Sam Goodwin
Veterinary nurse Sam Goodwin, who works at the practice owned by veterinary surgeon Oliver Watson, said: “The reunion was very emotional. Jeremy’s owner was absolutely distraught that something so awful could have happened to him, but she was so pleased to have him back.
“We checked him over, gave him lots of cuddles and he’s none the worse for wear.
“He’s a very lucky cat, but this does highlight the importance of microchipping.
“If Jeremy had not been chipped, his owner would never have known what had happened to him.”
The RSPCA is now seeking witnesses to help with their investigation into the callous act.
An RSPCA spokesman said a car was seen in the area acting strangely before the discovery was made.
It is believed the animal was stolen with the intention to sell.
RSPCA inspector Jaime Godfrey said: “We are investigating how the cat came to be in a suitcase in the water but it’s a well looked after and nice looking
“It could be that it was stolen with the intention to sell it but once the microchip was discovered it was dumped in the river.
“The case the cat was left in was very big and was going to take a long time to sink, so it could even be that whoever put the cat in there just panicked and wanted to get rid of it somehow.
“Thankfully this lucky little cat was discovered and returned to its home.
“We would like anyone with any information to ring us so we can find out what happened.”
If you have any information, call the RSPCA’s 24-hour cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.
Cat-napping is becoming increasingly common across the country because the pedigree breeds cost hundreds of pounds, so thieves steal the animals from the street and sell them on to make money.
Are you the man who saved Jeremy? Call the news desk on 01296 619762.