Cat reward gifted to cancer charity

Missing cat Bailey Birkin at home with Isaac, 8, and Georgia, 6, after he was found at Tesco in Ilkeston by a member of staff.
Missing cat Bailey Birkin at home with Isaac, 8, and Georgia, 6, after he was found at Tesco in Ilkeston by a member of staff.

The financial reward for missing cat Bailey has been donated to an Ilkeston dad diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer.

The six-year-old ginger moggie was found at Ilkeston’s Tesco store by staff member Lisa Greeves, 17 days after he went missing. But after an emotional reunion between Bailey and his owner, Lisa refused to accept the reward money.

Instead, the 27-year-old asked his owner to donate the money to her Tesco colleague Jamie Cragg, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in July this year and is raising money to fund HIPEC chemotherapy treatment in America.

Lisa’s mum, who also works at the supermarket, noticed the cat outside as it was crying at her and she ran inside to get her daughter, who volunteers at Cats Protection.

Lisa, of Middleton Road, Ilkeston, said: “I knew it was Bailey as I had shared the ‘missing’ posters, so I took a cat box and some cat biscuits off the shop floor and managed to catch him.

“I rang the owner and went out to meet her and she started crying straight away.”

Bailey’s owner, Debbie Birkin, said Bailey is mostly a house cat and had never gone missing before so she was relieved to have him home.

She added: “He is such a big part of the family but I didn’t think we’d get him back after being away for that long.

“However, Lisa went out of her way to make sure we were reunited and it was an emotional reunion.”

The 39-year-old project manager also said she was delighted the money would be going towards such a good cause.

She added: “I think Lisa is a really selfless person and it is clear the Tesco colleagues are a tight-knit team.”

Jamie Cragg is currently receiving palliative chemotherapy to extend his life and if he is not eligible for HIPEC he will go to Florida with his fiancée and five-year-old son.