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Cat owner stuck abroad in lockdown ‘dilemma’ after pet goes missing

Mother who got last flight out of France appeals for help in search for Steffi

20 April, 2020 — By Tom Foot

Steffi has not been seen since March 24

A CAT owner says she is facing a tough choice of whether to leave her family behind in France to search for her pet which has gone missing back home.

Kyo Louis said she had got on the last Ryanair flight out of London last month to be with her dual national husband and children who had travelled to a remote rural village near Biarritz the day before.

She had tried to take her rescue cat, Steffi, with her by car on the Eurotunnel but had been turned back by border security.

Ms Louis found a cat-sitter in Ferdinand Street, Chalk Farm – but the pet escaped and has not been seen since March 24. 

She said her “dilemma” was that if she returns to look for the cat, she will not be able to get back out to France to see her family because of the coronavirus lockdown rules.

“I know this is minor compared to all the human tragedies. Still, she is our beloved precious cat and we are heartbroken,” said Ms Louis, who normally lives in Belsize Park.

Named after the tennis player, Steffi Graf, the cat is a chipped and neutered two-year old and described as “an athletic cat who loves to run, chase paper balls and shuttlecocks”. It also has a “sagging belly”.

Ms Louis said: “When France announced its lockdown in mid-March, we pushed forward our Easter holiday plans to go to our in-laws in rural France.

“The kids schools had closed. My husband and I were both working from home. Our plan was that I would drive there with Steffi.

“At the French border of Eurotunnel, I was rejected. ‘People are dying in France,’ the border officer virtually shouted at me: ‘Please stay in your country’.”

She added: “We are in a tiny remote village …. For me, the choice boils down to staying with my family or leaving them to look for Steffi. 

“The dilemma is that I can go back to London as a UK resident but I won’t be able to return to France under the current lockdown.”

Have you seen Steffi? Contact Kyo on 07909 978 085.

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