Missing cat Milly reunited with owners after dramatic rafter rescue from Blackpool supermarket

A cat which had been missing for 24 days and was found trapped 40ft up in the rafter of a supermarket roof has been reunited with her grateful owner following a dramatic rescue operation.

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 12:53 pm

The cat, Milly, had been spotted high up in some beams in the roof of Sainsbury’s depot in Talbot Street, Blackpool, by a member of staff.

The worker saw an appeal made by Milly’s owner on social media to try and trace her missing pet, and contacted her as this cat matched the description.

Katie Powell (31), went to visit the depot and realised it was Milly – but she was unable to entice her down to safety.

Milly the cat as spotted high up in the rafters of the Sainsbury’s depot on Talbot Street, Blackpool, and, right, home safe with Ella

She said her beloved pet had fallen from a bedroom window of her home in Jackson Street, Layton, which she had left slightly open while she was at work.

When she returned the window was wide open and she thinks Milly must have leaned against it and fallen out onto the street below.

It is believed Milly, a house cat, must have got spooked and possibly hid in a Sainsbury’s delivery van - which was why she ended up at the depot about a mile away from home.

Katie visited the scene on a number of occasions to try to entice Milly from the roof, which was on the same level as a car park exit ramp but she was too frightened to move.

Katie Powell and daughter Ella, from Layton, Blackpool, are reunited with their missing cat Milly, which had been found in the rafters of the roof of a supermarket on Talbot Street, Blackpool

Over the following days the RSPCA and fire service made attempts to rescue the frightened feline, but were unable to catch her.

Eventually, RSPCA animal rescuers Inspector Amy McIntosh and Inspector Carl Larson set a trap on a ledge to try catch her.

The trap was placed high in the near the rafters which could be accessed from the exit ramp air vent, which was level with the roof, and they left Milly some fresh food and water inside.

Milly initially set off the trap but evaded capture and was found perched on top of the cage - and ran off when help came.

Ella was delighted to have Milly home

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Katie, who has a 10-year-old daughter, Ella, said: “I was so pleased to get Milly back – and she has certainly made me worry for the past three weeks while she was not at home.

“I realised she had gone when returned from work and could see the window wide open.

“I was frantic and tried to find her locally but no-one had seen her. Then I made some posters to put up in the area and also put out some appeals on social media to see if anyone had come across Milly.

Milly the cat as spotted high up in the rafters of the Sainsburys depot on Talbot Street, Blackpool

“After a few days later I got a call from a Sainsbury’s worker saying they had spotted her – but she was high up in the depot roof. The staff at the depot were great and would take me to see Milly to see if I could encourage her down - they also fed her while she was stuck.

“I am just so grateful to everyone who helped from the staff at Sainsbury’s who cared for Milly and offered her food to the fire service for their attempts to rescue her and the RSPCA for finally getting her safely in a trap.

“It was a fantastic team effort and everyone was so kind and helpful.

“I am just so happy Milly is safe and well – she was very timid when she first arrived home after a frightening adventure but she has since settled back in and is enjoying plenty of attention. Ella is thrilled she is home.”

Thousands of pets are lost every year and many are never reunited with their owners but microchipping can help to change that. While collars and tags can get caught or removed – microchipping identifies pets permanently and effectively.

For more information about microchipping, visit the RSPCA website: www.rspca.org.uk/microchipping.

The fire service used a crane to try to rescue Milly, but she was spooked by the noise and ran away
RSPCA inspectors set a trap for Milly on a ledge in the roof, and eventually she was found safe and well inside the cage and brought down
RSPCA animal rescuers Inspector Amy McIntosh and Inspector Carl Larson with Milly in the trap after she was brought down