A FAMILY is offering £350 for the safe return of their cat who is "inseparable" from a three-year-old and has been missing for over two weeks.

Five-year-old Fifa, a white, male cat has been missing from the Cockerton area of Darlington since June 12.

Paul and Courtney Cooper have been taking "shifts" looking for Fifa, who was a gift for the mum getting into university.

The Northern Echo:

The couple's daughter Violet, who often cuddles with and is inseparable from Fifa, told her parents: "When I'm sad and hurt I call for you mummy, and daddy. Fifa might be calling for you."

Mrs Cooper said: "Feef usually sleeps on Violets bed and we have had to buy her a white teddy cat just to get her to settle as she misses him, they have always been inseparable since the day we brought Violet home. He’s always slept next to her as if he wanted to protect her.

The Northern Echo:

"We just miss him so much, he’s a real comforter when times are hard.

"Last year we lost our baby half way through the pregnancy and when Paul was back at work them first few nights were lonely, but Fifa always use to curl up right into the side of my neck and it sounds daft but he knew something was wrong and was trying to comfort me.

"It’s so sad he’s not here but most of the community have been really helpful, strangers have been posting leaflets for us and the kindness that they’ve shown we will be forever grateful."

The Northern Echo:

But not everyone has been helpful, with Mrs Cooper receiving prank calls.

Mrs Cooper added: "People have called me saying that they have killed Fifa. The most recent one saying they made a stew with him and if I wanted to a portion."

The couple found Fifa's collar the day after he went missing so are encouraging people to look out for a cat without one, as there are other white cats in the area.

The Northern Echo:

When he went missing, Mrs Cooper heard a noise in the garden which sounded like a struggle between a person and an animal and is appealing for information.

"We feel guilty if we laugh or do something other than looking for him, the other day when it was really hot we looked for him but then spend a few hours in the garden playing with Violet in the paddling pool and we both just felt guilty as them hours could of been spent looking for him," Mrs Cooper added.

The Northern Echo:

"We just need closure and hopefully getting people more aware will help with that.

"If anyone has information about the shouting around 10:30pm, including ‘leave and get off’ and a big screeching sound from an animal over Sugar Hill Park the night he went missing, it may have something to do with his disappearance.

"He's not a rare breed and he can't be used for breeding because he has been neutered. We just want him home. There's only so long I can tell Violet we will find him," the mum added.

Anyone with information should call 07464325316