Family overjoyed after missing moggy found – in discarded sofa four miles away

A FAMILY has been left overjoyed after their beloved missing moggy was found – inside a discarded sofa left at a waste depot almost four miles away.

Nikita Nelson had let her cat Gio outside last month but was distraught when he never returned home.

The family with Gio.
Pictured (L-R): Nikita Nelson, daughter Lexi, stepson Cai and her partner Shaun Young. (C) Nikita Nelson.

The 31-year-old took to social media in a plea for help – which was soon answered in the form of a bloke who had found a cat at Whitehill Industrial Estate in Bathgate, West Lothian.

Nikita was soon reunited with two-year-old Gio, who it appears had climbed into a van – which contained a sofa due for disposal – for warmth and had unknowingly been taken to the waste depot.

Whilst another woman allegedly got in touch with the man believing the cat to be hers, Nikita was able to share multiple photos of the cat with the SSPCA to prove that Gio was indeed hers.

Gio was safely returned home later that week, where the family say he has remained – not venturing far from home since.

Speaking to Nikita today, she said: “I let Gio out on Sunday 12 November, around 5pm.

“He didn’t come home that night but that’s not unusual from him as I believe there’s an older lady in the street that likes to take him in and feed him (she calls him Whiskers).

“When he still wasn’t home late afternoon on the Monday, I started to worry something had happened to him and my three-year old daughter kept asking for him.

“He walks her to nursery with me and sometimes likes to join us on a walk to the park. We had a little walk about to see if we could see him but there was no sign of him.

Pictured: Gio. (C) Nikita Nelson.

“I then saw the post online the following day and was relieved he was safe but also confused as to how he had managed to get so far.

“I then received a message from the man whose van Gio had climbed into, where he explained he had left his van open full of pillows and believed Gio had climbed in to keep warm.

“The man only lives around the corner from me. He has then climbed inside a couch that was in the van and been taking to the local dump where he was found by the staff before the couch was discarded.

“I managed to get in contact with the man in charge of Gio’s case and was told I had to send pictures as another woman was claiming he was her cat.

“The woman had written online, saying she thought he was her cat, and someone had taken him a year before this, but I’ve had Gio since he was able to leave his mum.

“The wait was horrible. I knew it was Gio in the pictures but was concerned as he does look a lot like the other lady’s cat.

“I finally received a phone call on the Thursday morning, saying they could confirm it was definitely Gio, so rushed to Balerno Cattery to pick him up.

“Since returning home, Gio hasn’t been his usual confident self. He won’t leave the garden and just sits on my daughter’s pirate ship when he does want out.

“He’s had a lot of cuddles from the family and we’re hoping in time he gets back to his usual self.”

SSPCA has been approached for comment.