POLICE are investigating reports that two children stole a family pet from outside its home.
Two-year-old Lola – who was rescued by her owners as a stray kitten – has not been seen for more than two weeks.
Neighbours have reported seeing two youngsters cradling the animal in their arms before walking off. They only reported their concerns after seeing a poster campaign launched by the cat’s owners.
Diane Cowie, 52, from Colinton, said: “It sounds a little dramatic, but I suppose I’m grieving a little about the cat.
“People would say ‘it’s only a cat’ but it’s our family cat and I can’t understand why anyone would take it away.”
The girls, thought to be aged around eight and 13, were seen with the cat on Sunday, January 15, and it has so far failed to return home.
While witnesses said the girls were not mistreating the pet, Mrs Cowie said they were old enough to know better than to seize a cat from the street.
She said Lola had been in the family’s front garden in The Gallolee while she and her husband were out shopping and had vanished when they returned.
“It was a fine day and she was wandering about outside so we left it a day or two thinking she would come back eventually,” said Mrs Cowie. “But come Thursday we knew there was something wrong and put up flyers and scoured the area. Almost immediately, two neighbours called saying they saw two young girls picking up the cat and playing with her the day she went missing.
“They said they had picked her up and walked away but they thought the kids would put down the cat and she would wander back. But the last time anyone saw the cat it was in the arms of these girls.”
Mrs Cowie said her tortoiseshell moggy had never been known to wander and was microchipped, but did not wear a collar. “You would know it wasn’t a stray,” she said. “It was very well looked after. I know I would struggle walking any distance with Lola in my arms so the girls would have to hold her very tightly because she wriggles about like an eel.”
Mrs Cowie’s daughter rescued Lola when she was a stray kitten roaming the streets in London. She took the cat to a vet and decided to give her a home with her parents in Edinburgh after no one claimed her.
Mrs Cowie said: “It’s my daughter’s 23rd birthday next week and it would mean everything if we could get Lola back before then.”
A police spokesman said: “Police are investigating the theft of a cat that was reported stolen in the Colinton area of Edinburgh on January 15.”