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Cat that went missing from Dubai flight to UK is found 60 days later

‘It’s nothing short of a miracle,’ says the pet’s British owner

Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News
Ian Lees and daughter Donna Louise Bailey after reuniting with his cat Dinky
XPRESS

Dubai: A Ragdoll cat that went missing after it was booked on a Dubai flight to London on July 27 has been reunited with its owner 60 days later.

“It’s nothing short of a miracle,” said Ian Lees, holding back tears of joy as he collected the cat Dinky from Dubai Municipality on Sunday morning. The 69-year-old Briton had specially flown back from the UK to Dubai last week to launch a search for Dinky.

The mystery surrounding Dinky’s bizarre disappearance was first reported in the UAE by XPRESS on August 9. Dinky had gone missing when Lees and his wife Susan, 65, Dubai residents for five years, were returning to the UK for good on Emirates flight EK 011 with their other pet cat Cleo.

But hours after he arrived in Dubai last week, Lees told XPRESS he was convinced the nine-month-old cat escaped from his carrier before he could be put on the flight. The exclusive interview went viral over the social media and local animal welfare and community online forums, even as the distraught Briton announced a reward of Dh2,500 for anyone who could find Dinky. The sum was subsequently raised to Dh5,000.

Confirming Dinky’s disappearance, Emirates SkyCargo had earlier said, “During inspection it was found that one of the hinges of the cage was loose and that the door was slightly ajar. A thorough search of the cargo hold of the aircraft was conducted both at London Gatwick and at Dubai when the aircraft returned, however the cat was not traced. Emirates SkyCargo is extending all possible support to tracing and reuniting the cat with his owners.”

While it is still not clear how eaxctly Dinky disappeared, Lees said the cat was handed over to Dubai Municipality by a woman who found him in Al Barsha and his identification was possible because of his microchip.

“It’s anybody’s guess how Dinky reached Al Barsha South, 28km from the airport. But I would like to thank Dubai Municipality, Emirates and all the animal rescue groups, volunteers, friends and family who helped us find Dinky. Thank you XPRESS for everything you’ve done.” said Lees.

His Dubai-based daughter Donna Louise Bailey said, “I still can’t get over this. I am so relieved for my parents. Dinky is their ‘sweetie’.”

For the full story on how Dinky was traced, read XPRESS on September 21.

XPRESS is a sister publication of Gulf News

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