Hackney woman’s race against time to find missing cat

A mum-to-be is racing against time to find her beloved missing cat before she has to sail her houseboat away from Hackney this weekend.

Abi Hopkins, who is eight months pregnant, was devastated when mog Irie disappeared from her narrowboat one night seven weeks ago and now she wants Gazette readers to help her find the lost cat.

“If Irie wasn’t on the boat when I got up in the morning, I would jingle some bells and he would come running to me from wherever he was,” Abi said.

“But one morning, he never came home. I tried not to panic, but I got more and more worried throughout the day when he didn’t turn up.”

As the days turned in to weeks, Abi has become increasingly distressed and has taken to pounding the streets looking for Irie. She has put up posters around Hackney and walks a different way to work in Bow everyday so she can search for him.

She admits her partner Jason Makepeace, 40, is concerned about the emotional toll Irie’s disappearance is having on her and the baby.

“Jason’s trying to stay positive. But Irie was like our child, and I think he knew I was pregnant before I did – he started coming and lying across my belly. I want him back before the baby is born because he’s part of our family too.”

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But now the youth worker, who also has a flat in Clapton, is desperately trying to step up her attempts to find Irie, because she and Jason have to move their houseboat from the River Lea by Springfield Park, Upper Clapton.

“We’ve stayed in the same space since he left, and we’re actually not allowed to stay in one place that long. Now we have to take the boat to Paddington by the weekend.

“I’m going to be very emotional when we leave.”

Irie is black, with “about 15” white hairs on his chest, and green eyes. He was not wearing a collar when he disappeared but he is microchipped.

Anyone who thinks they’ve spotted Irie should contact Abi on 07852 367 489 or hopkins_abi@hotmail.com.