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Maretta O'Hehir with her cat Bruni. Photograph by John Kelly.

Bruni returns home after a year

BALLYNACALLY woman Maretta O’Hehir, who lives in the townland of Ballycorick, was stunned last week to discover that her missing cat, Bruni, had returned home after 54 weeks on the missing list.

The seven-year-old black cat went missing on December 4, 2015 when he escaped from a cage while on a trip to Ennis. “He flew across the road, climbed a seven foot wall and into somebody’s garden. He was traumatised after getting an injection. I searched every place. I tried that evening and for several days afterwards. He wasn’t used to traffic and had no road sense whatsoever,” Maretta said of Bruni, one of two cats she again keeps at home.

“I got them around the time Nicolas Sarkozy became president of France. His wife was Carla Bruni, so I called the female Carla and I called him Bruni,” she explained.

Maretta, one of Ireland’s most celebrated sopranos, was about to feed Carla when she discovered that Bruni was back.

“I went over to feed the other cat in a shed. The door was closed but there’s a shutter they come in through from the garden. I could hear this cat meowing and I thought there was a stray in there. I opened the door and there he was. The dog knew him. I couldn’t get over it. He knew us all, the dog, myself and other cat. They’re eating together as they did before,” Maretta marvelled.

Bruni did not look hungry or neglected and in fact settled back in immediately to life in Ballycorick.

“He’s insisting on sleeping in Carla’s bed. She is slightly resentful that this guy is back, even though she knows him. He has been missing for so long, I’d say she’ll take a little while to readjust,” Maretta said, adding that she doesn’t expect Bruni to go missing again.

“I’d be disappointed in him if he went a second time. He’s happy in his bed and he’s sleeping away. I was going to get two kittens. I hadn’t done it during the summer and then the weather got too bad so I said I’d wait until the spring. I won’t bother now. Once I have my two cats, I’m fine.”

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