A FAMILY had an almighty shock when their pet cat miraculously returned home after they believed he had been cremated.

Frankie, a 16-year-old cat from Stretton, didn’t come home on the evening of May 19.

After a few days, his family became worried.

They searched all over the area for him and even had the help of lots of residents.

After driving back from Lymm on the motorway, Frankie’s owner Rachel Fitzsimons believed she spotted a dead cat on the hard shoulder.

Rachel and her husband John got as close as they could to the cat but couldn’t tell if it was him.

They tried to take a picture to zoom in but the cat had been too badly injured to allow it to be identified.

Rachel said: ‘‘The markings matched Frankie and we live close to the motorway, so we were sure it was him.’’

She rang the Highways Agency, and after the weekend workers went out to check the dead animal.

They retrieved the dead animal and said it was a fluffy tabby cat with white markings, which matched Frankie’s description.

The Highway Agency took the cat to the compound but staff were unable scan his chip.

After collecting the cat, the heartbroken family had the feline cremated.

Rachel’s seven-year-old son put the ashes by his bed as he usually slept with Frankie on his bed every night.

But, a few mornings later, John came running to the back door as he thought he heard Frankie.

And there he was.

Rachel said: ‘‘He was bedraggled and very thin, meowing to come in as if nothing had happened.

‘‘We all cried and we are still in shock.

‘‘He’s so lucky.

‘‘We would like to know whose pet we have cremated.’’