WHO said black cats are unlucky?

One such pet has challenged the myth after being mistaken for rubbish and taken on a trip to a paper recycling centre which could have had a very unhappy ending.

Since then, the cat has been living a pampered life at Foreman Recycling, at Merrington Lane Industrial Estate, Spennymoor, County Durham, but now staff want to reunite the pet with its owner.

The cat was swept up with a pile of newspapers and cardboard in Stockton, and dumped in the back of a truck.

It was about to be tipped out with the rest of the rubbish, but escaped a nasty end by a whisker when it jumped out the way.

Barbara Foreman was the first to spot the mucky moggy.

"The lorry came in from Stockton and tipped all the card out on to the floor and a black cat jumped out.

"We think it probably was having a nap in a cardboard box and the lorry picked it up and brought it here.

"I am sure somebody is looking for it. It has a collar.

"A couple of weeks went by and we assumed it had gone. Then a driver opened up one morning, and there was the cat sitting on the floor."

The timid feline refuses to reveal itself during the day, preferring to run around the warehouse when everyone has gone home.

"It is obviously sleeping here. It must be coming out at night and having a play. One lad has seen paw prints on the boxes," said Ms Foreman.

"I've left food and drink for it every night, but the centre is so noisy during the day, with trucks coming and going, that it won't come out."

If you think the black cat is yours, call Foreman Recycling on 0191-301 3464.