Mum desperate to find famous New Mills cat – her daughter’s “best friend”

A New Mills family are “desperate” to know what has happened to their cat - famous for appearing at their daughter’s school and even queuing outside the GP surgery.

By Ben McVay
Friday, 5th February 2021, 1:41 pm

Emma Holdgate told how her five-year-old daughter Willow was “crying herself to sleep” every night since the disappearance of one-year-old Link nearly a fortnight ago.

Distraught mum Emma described how Willow’s feline best pal follows the five-year-old to school every morning and once even showed up at her reception class - much to the amusement of other kids.

One another occasion the cat about town even showed up in a queue at Sett Valley Medical Centre – as if waiting for his Covid jab.

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Willow Hibbert, five, with best pal Link

Emma said: “We live quite close to Willow’s school and my first ever phone call from them - which you always dread as a parent - was ‘your cat is in the reception class’.

“All the kids were playing with him and we had to go and collect him - they were all dead sad. Link had walked through the whole school to find Willow.

“But he often follows us when we’re out for a walk and we have to take him home again in case he gets lost.”

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Willow Hibbert with Link and dad Benjamin on Sett Valley Trail

Nurse Emma described how the friendly animal was seen so often by passers-by on New Mills’ Sett Valley Trail they regularly posted pictures of him on social media asking if anyone had lost a cat.

However since January 25 there has not been a single sighting of the beloved tomcat.

Emma, 36, said: “I’m now wondering if he’s been stolen - you hear stories about youths catching cats and them chucking them out at the side of the road somewhere else.

“This is just so out of character for him - he has a routine where he comes and sits on Willow’s bed every night at 8pm and just goes to sleep.

Benjamin Hibbert, Willow's dad, with Link

“I’m crying every day because I need to find him for my daughter - we just need to know what’s happened to him.

“We’re all just hoping some lonely older person has taken him in.”

Worried Emma is even offering a reward for his safe return - if you can help email [email protected] or message Link’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Link-The-cat-about-town-112112317378545/.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor