A pet owner was left stunned after her cat returned home nine months after she thought she'd cremated it.
In September 2020, Desirée Hobbins, 26 orange tabby cat Zeppelin, known as Zeppy, went missing from her home in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
After not returning back home for a number of weeks, Ms Hobbins put posters up for the beloved animal and asked her neighbours to keep an eye out for him, but to no avail.
But Ms Hobbins was then left heartbroken when a social media post was shared describing a cat, similar Zeppelin, that had been found dead nearby.
Some of her friends went to the scene and confirmed the dead animal had been Zeppy.
"I was driving to yoga and they called me and they’re like, ‘We think it’s him, we’ve looked at so many pictures and he has all the markings. I am sorry, we think it’s him,’" Ms Hobbins told CKOM.
Devastated at the news, she rushed down to see Zeppy one final time.
She said: "They had him in a box wrapped in this velvet dress that my friend had in her car.
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"I just looked at him and felt like Harry Potter when Cedric Diggory dies and they find him and his dad’s like, ‘My boy! My boy!’
"I looked at him and just knew it was my Zeppelin. It’s him."
She then had the animal cremated at the Regina Humane Society and mourned the loss of her best friend.
But one day in May of 2021, Ms Hobbins received a message on Instagram telling her that Zeppelin had been found safe and well.
"I checked my Instagram and I see there’s a message from Regina Cat Rescue," Ms Hobbins said "It was like, ‘Hi Desirée, I believe we have your friend here’, and it was a picture of Zeppelin, and I was like, what? No. There’s no way, I cremated him!"
She added: "I phoned the girl and she was like, ‘We checked the microchip and it doesn’t lie, this is your cat'.
"I was like, they have the wrong cat, but then how do they even know (Zeppelin’s) name? How did they find my contact information? But they had his picture and it was definitely Zeppelin.
"He was healthy and missing a tooth, but it was Zeppy. I just couldn’t believe it was him."
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Ms Hobbins says she feels guilty for putting an animal down that wasn't hers.
"When I found Zeppelin I was just so distraught," she said. "I just didn’t think to be like, ‘Can you check for a microchip?’.
"But had they looked or somebody just asked me two questions like, ‘Did you adopt him here?’ or ‘Did he have a microchip?’ you know, there just could have been a couple steps there.
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"But I understand when someone comes in crying and they say, ‘this is my dead cat’ obviously they are going to believe you."
Regina Humane Society Director of Marketing and Public Relations Bill Thorn said: "We wouldn’t have any reason to question someone that’s bringing an animal in that they had in that kind of situation.
"I mean, they’re bringing the cat in, (they say) 'That’s my cat, it died,' I don’t know if we would sort of doubt them and check it in case it’s not really their cat.
"Typically, people don’t bring a cat that isn’t theirs in for cremation."
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