Frantic owner fears the worst as Cairo rescue cat vanishes
A stray cat rescued from the streets of Cairo and rehomed in Lisburn is among dozens of felines that have disappeared in recent weeks.
Jill Adams has been left heartbroken after her beloved rescue cat, Sam, went missing from her home five weeks ago.
She adopted Sam and his street sibling, Harry, after they were found homeless in some of the poorest parts of the Egyptian capital.
Both cats had been taken in by local charity, ABA (Anubis Bastet Adoptions for Egyptian Animals) which aims to rehome the animals around the world.
Jill spotted the pair on social media and instantly fell in love.
Over a month ago, however, the "loveable" feline was reported missing and is now one of 70 cats who have vanished in mysterious circumstances.
Police have launched an investigation into the disappearances, with many missing from the Newry area.
Having rescued her cats last December, Jill said she has been left devastated by Sam's disappearance. "It took a lot to get them home - the charity put Harry and Sam on a flight from Cairo to London, then another cat rescue volunteer travelled with them by train to Glasgow where I met them," she said.
"Then a kind bus driver allowed us to travel together to the docks and from there we got a boat back to Northern Ireland.
"I was determined to get them home and was grateful when I did.
"I already had two other cats and they didn't like their new visitors too much but a few weeks later they were all sleeping in the same bed."
Harry and Sam, who she describes as sociable and loving, quickly adapted to their new surroundings.
"Sam is an amazing cat - he's very oriental looking," she added.
But last month, after Jill returned from a shopping trip, she quickly realised Sam was missing.
"He wasn't there with the other three which is strange as they are usually never apart.
"After a few hours I started to get worried and wasn't feeling good about it. I checked with neighbours and thought he maybe got stuck in a shed.
"I rang vets and other organisations but couldn't get anything.
"It's been five weeks now. Sometimes I go out at 2am or later in case he is running about but I found nothing.
"I just want to know what has happened to him so I can get some closure. I fear the worst, that he's been taken in a sinister way.
"It destroys me to think of what they would do to something I love.
"Harry cried the first few days, he senses something is wrong.
"I keep Sam's bowl and blankets in hope that one day he'll return."