‘Ronnie Kray’ the cat living under nose of Goodmayes owners during four years ‘on the run’
What does a cat called Ronnie Kray do during four years “on the run”? Live in a garden centre, literally under the nose of his owners, it turns out.
Jim and Joan O’Halloran’s tabby Ronnie went missing from his home in 2008 after having a punch up with his brother Reggie.
He was found last month in the O’Halloran’s garden in Green Lane after they set up cameras to watch the foxes.
Joan and her husband Jim, both 72, are regular visitors to Webbs Garden Centre, also in Green Lane, Goodmayes.
But little did they know the mischievous cat was living there, just yards away from his former home.
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Mrs O’Halloran said: “I cannot believe that he was that close to me. Obviously we had never seen him in there.”
The owner of 10 cats said she was “in tears” and felt “embarrassed” when the tabby went missing.
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“Part of me is really pleased that he was looked after, but it makes me feel really awful because it looks like I didn’t care about him, but of course I did,” she added.
Manager of Webbs Garden Centre, Mark Sherwood, 40, had been feeding the cat since it went missing in 2008, but was unaware it belonged to the couple.
He believes Ronnie had been sleeping in his shop.
Mr Sherwood was also surprised the O’Hallorans did not bump into the feline during their shopping trips.
“I couldn’t believe it was missing for four years,” he said. “I’m surprised that their paths hadn’t crossed.”
After the cat was found, Mr Sherwood saw a picture of Ronnie and Mr O’Halloran in the Recorder and realised it was his pet.
He spotted the tabby’s owner across the street and told him about where it had been.
Mrs O’Halloran jokingly admits Ronnie and Reggie are still “horrors” but says their relationship is as good as ever.
She added: “They are lovely really but so naughty it is unbelievable. Ever since he has been back it is as though a long lost friend has come back, which is really nice.”
Ronnie and Reggie were named after the infamous Kray twins due to their mischievous behaviour.