A quiet, picturesque village is currently caught up in a mystery as beloved pets keep disappearing.
Residents in Burpham are at a loss as to why so many of their cats have vanished in the last year.
Victoria Holland, 56, said: “They can’t just disappear into thin air, but that is how it feels.”
So far at least six cats have gone missing in the last year, with only one returning some months later.
Victoria, who works as an architect, added: “If you are in a town you think they might get run over.
“Here there is nowhere that they can have been shut in and there are very few cars.
“It is such a small community that if anyone found a cat that had been injured everyone would know about it.”
She has had two cats vanish in the last year – Beatrice last autumn and Beatrice’s daughter Loki in May.
Lucy Brett, an art fundraiser who also lives in Burpham, last saw her cat Gus in early July.
She said: “Gus is very talkative, he meows the whole time. You can hear him coming from miles away.”
Lucy said Gus’s twin brother Gordon has been upset since he went missing.
She added: “You think about all the horrible things that could have happened to them, getting poisoned or caught in traps.
“Is it some mad bird person trying to stop cats?”
When fellow resident Charlotte Emery’s cat Alba went missing, she decided to take action.
She hired Molly, the sniffer dog in the UK specially-trained to find lost cats.
Molly was able to discover traces of Alba’s scent but could not locate him.
Fortunately Alba was found in a field by a resident some weeks later.
All the missing cats are microchipped and none are pedigree breeds.
Victoria and Lucy are hoping the public might be able to crack the case.
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