He may have been the victim of a series of cat-astrophes, but the luck seems to have turned for a lost black cat – thanks to a little help from the Evening News.
Yesterday, we reported three-year-old black cat Buttons was believed to be at large in the Sighthill area of the city after a run of disastrous luck saw him alone, far from home, and with an injured leg.
But before the paper had even hit the streets, a chance sighting of the moggy had led the family to bring their pet home, safe and sound.
The adventure for Buttons started on Friday, when owner Rosemary Smeaton-Brown raced back to her home in Livingston from her job as a sales assistant after her children, George, 15, and Amber, 13, called to say the beloved family pet had come home with a nasty injury to his front right leg.
But en route to the PDSA Mrs Smeaton-Brown and Amber were involved in a three-car smash on the A71 just before the Sighthill roundabout.
During the crash, the clips holding Buttons’ cat carrier closed came loose, and the animal was able to escape.
Despite a large social media campaign and many searches of the area, the family were beginning to worry they would never see the pet they had raised again.
But Mrs Smeaton-Brown, who contacted the Evening News for help in spreading the tale of Buttons disappearance, revealed that it led to a twist of fate which finally brought her black cat home.
“Ian Rutherford, who came to take our picture for the paper, mentioned he had seen a little black cat run across the road near the Hermiston Gait bypass the night before,” she said. “We’d searched round there already, but after he left something told me to give it one more try.”
Mrs Smeaton-Brown said she was walking up and down at the side of the road “calling Buttons’ name and shaking a box of treats – people passing must have thought I was off my head” when she heard a familiar meow.
“Suddenly he came rushing out of the undergrowth and jumped into my arms. I was gobsmacked, just utterly delighted.
“He’s a bit thinner and he had a massive sleep when we got him home, but otherwise he seems absolutely fine. I’m so grateful to everyone who helped.”
Ian, who was named News Photographer of the Year at the recent Scottish Press Awards, said he was “really pleased” he had been able to help reunite the whole family.
“I’m just glad the story had a happy ending.”