A missing cat, which regularly frequents a Cardiff supermarket and 4,000-strong fan club, was found 25 miles away in Brynmawr. Clover, better known as ‘Sainsbury’s Cat’, has been a regular frequenter of the Thornhill supermarket for several years and has gained a cult following online.
In May, a post on his Facebook fan page said the “beloved” animal was missing and hadn’t been seen for several days. Clover’s owner, who did not want to be named, told WalesOnline at the time that although the feline had been mistaken for a stray and taken by people many times before, its most recent disappearance was “really unusual ” and “concerning”.
But thanks to the efforts of a group of volunteers dedicated to finding missing animals in and around Cardiff, Clover was finally discovered about ten days later in the early hours of Tuesday May 31 and returned safely to his owner. Jenna Jones, 37, leads the non-profit group with her best friend Tracy Evans, along with ten other volunteers. The group has over 3,600 members who share reports and sightings of missing animals so Jenna and her team can find them. You can read all of our Cardiff stories here.
Late one night on Monday, May 30, one of the members shared a photo of a Clover sighting in Brymawr and Jenna did some “survey work” to determine the exact location of the cat. She spent two hours comparing the photo with an online map, eventually narrowing it down to a residential area 45 minutes away by car.
Knowing they had to work as quickly as possible, Jenna rushed to the scene with three volunteers. “Because if it went from there, we might not have had another sighting for so long – we might never have had another sighting.”
he said it was not a place she would have expected Clover to end up in, and said it was the farthest distance she had to travel to retrieve a missing pet. “I can’t believe how far away she was,” she said. It was so far away – it wasn’t in an area where she was likely to be found. In the past we have found them in Aldi depots, for example.”
“As soon as I got up there I started shaking Dreamies and she came out of one of the gardens,” she said. “The funny thing is she never used to come see me at Sainsbury’s, but last night she walked straight out. It probably took about half an hour until she was located. and in my car.”
Jenna admitted she ‘couldn’t believe’ she had located the famous pet, but said she kept hope alive during the drive. “I knew if I go up there with Dreamies, if she’s still in that area, I’ll find her and she’ll come to me. Because I know what she looks like – she’ll come looking for Dreamies no matter what time. Even if she is full, she will still come out for them.”
She scanned the cat and traced the chip to confirm it was Clover. It was 1am when they found her and too late to reach the owners, so the cat spent the night in one of the volunteers’ houses, before returning home later that morning.
“I suspect she was taken there by someone. I don’t know though – I can’t prove it. But her collar was removed and that would suggest someone took her there “Jenna said.
“[Clover’s owners] were absolutely over the moon. They were absolutely thrilled. They thought they would never find her. They thought something had happened and they were so happy to see that she had not only been found, but was alive and very well too.”
An update on Clover’s Facebook page on Tuesday announcing that she had been found received 2,000 likes and hundreds of comments. One person commented that it was “the best news for another”, while another said “I wish Clover could speak up and share his story”.
Explaining how her own Facebook group came to be, Jenna said the page was originally set up around three years ago to locate a cat called Tiger who went missing from West Wales. She led the search to find him and reunite him with his owners, and he was eventually found in Llanishen.
She decided to take the group further with Tracy, and since then it’s gone “from strength to strength,” evolving into an avenue where owners can seek help locating their lost pets completely free of charge. She estimates that they reunite on average at least ten animals with their owners per month.
Jenna, who volunteers with Cardiff-based animal shelter Anna’s Rescue Center and also runs hedgehog rescues in her spare time, said the initiative was all about animals. The mother of two also cares full-time for her 15-year-old son who has ADHD. She said her own pets have supported her son, especially their cat called Charlie – whom she calls her ‘therapy cat’ – so that she understands the importance animals can have in people’s lives .
“Pets mean the world to us – they just make life better. I know how much pets mean to people, that’s why I started the band. It’s about nothing other than to reunite these animals with their owners, even when found dead,” she said.
“I really love getting back all those cats, dogs – all pets – that are lost to their owners. I’ve lost a pet myself before and it’s heartbreaking. You don’t know where they are, you are afraid that they might have died.” To subscribe to our CardiffOnline newsletter, click here.