A chance comment in a Devizes pet shop reunited a family with their elderly Devon Rex cat Cleopatra that they thought they had lost forever.

Anne Tew had called into Rangebourne Pet Care in New Park Street with her 13-year-old daughter Eleanor last Thursday to pick up some food for the family’s other cats and got talking to owner Andy Sheppard.

Mrs Tew said: “During the re-ordering process, I mentioned to Andy that we had lost the Devon Rex that we had been ordering special food for. “He asked me if I had lost a cat. I hesitated and said yes. He asked how long ago and I told him it had been three months. To our complete amazement, he said: ‘I have her at home’.”

Mr Sheppard told the Gazette: “I was driving along between All Cannings and Patney when I saw what I thought was a dead rabbit by the side of the road. Because it was such a strange colour, I stopped to take a look and this little cat lifted its head and looked at me.

“It was in a terrible state. I put it on the floor in front of the passenger seat but within ten minutes it had climbed up into my lap and was purring.”

Mr Sheppard’s wife Jo took the cat into her care and it was soon looking and feeling better.

Meanwhile, the Tew family was missing little 14-year-old Cleopatra from their home in Etchilhampton. Mrs Tew said they had searched for her after she went missing at the beginning of August.

She said: “We searched the field next to our house and the road outside but could not find her. We went on holiday a week later, not really knowing what to do. When we arrived home and no-one had seen her we felt that we had lost her. We were sad and did not feel we could really say goodbye.

“Our daughter, Eleanor, who had grown up with the cat as she was born when the cat was one year old, just prayed that she would be happy wherever she was.”

Now Cleopatra is back home and the family are delighted to have her.

Mrs Tew said: “Andy and Jo went far beyond what many people would have done over a long period and, having cared for her and fallen in love with her, they did not have to tell us they had her but they did.

“We never anticipated getting back our precious Cleo and, more than that, Andy and his wife Jo saved her life. Would we ever buy our cat food from anywhere else?”