A heartbroken family cremated their beloved cat and bought a headstone – only for their pet to casually turn up out of the blue hours later.
The family-of-four had a 14-year-old moggy called Simba and when she went missing overnight they feared the worst.
Last Friday (September 3) when Freddy and Sinead O'Cleirigh found a black cat dead in the road outside their home, they assumed it was Simba.
The tearful couple, from Lagmore, Belfast, Ireland, took the cat to the vet where they had an emotional ceremony and purchased a headstone to remember her by.
After consoling their devastated sons, Connell, 17, and Stiofan, five, at home, the real Simba miraculously reappeared and the family realised she had an almost identical body double.
CCTV footage captured the moment the lucky feline strolled back home and Connell was reunited with his childhood pet, with the lad clearly confused as he picked up Simba and ran into the house to share his discovery.
The family were able to use the power of social media to track down the owner of the cat they had cremated and return the ashes to them.
Deli worker Sinead, 40, said: "I'm just so embarrassed. It was a crazy day. I haven't stopped laughing because I can't believe it was me who did it.
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"We got her a headstone and everything. Simba hadn't come back all night and my husband got up early to go to the gym when he saw a dead cat that had been hit by a car."
She went on: "We were crying and my sons were devastated."
Sinead and security worker Freddy, 37, took the cat to the vet where they paid £60 for her cremation and £25 for a headstone.
She said: "We've had her all of her life so we thought she deserves a proper send-off because she's such a big part of the family.
"We got her for Connell's third birthday so he's never known life without her. We were all devastated including my extended family."
CCTV caught the moment Connell was reunited with his childhood pet and Sinead was left trying to explain to her younger son how Simba had managed to come back from the dead.
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She said: "We were trying to cheer the boys up with pizza then my son went to walk his girlfriend to the car and he saw a little cat come wandering down the drive.
"Everyone was screaming that Simba had come back from the dead and we were all so happy and celebrating.
"We explained to my youngest about the rainbow bridge and how that's where cats and dogs go when they die so that's completely ruined his illusion and now he thinks all our dead pets are coming back."
The blunder has made the family famous in their town and Sinead has been receiving messages from as far as America.
She said: "I posted what I'd done on social media and when Freddy went to work the next day, people were meowing at him and my phone was blowing up.
"When I went into work, everyone knew about it.
"People from Florida have been messaging me, everyone has seen it and I was all over everyone's news feeds."
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