Dr. Adam Nicholls began his shift at the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital near Manchester, England, on Christmas morning, just after his girlfriend, Alexandra Knight, had finished her own as a night nurse at the hospital. They spent a few moments together with their cat in peace that morning before Nicholls went to work and Knight went to her parents’ house.
What they found when they returned the following day was devastating.
Their home had been robbed and all their Christmas presents stolen. To make matters worse, their cat had escaped as well.
“Our home in West Didsbury was broken into last night when I was at work and my girlfriend away,” Nicholls wrote on Twitter. “As well as stealing all of our presents and anything of value, our beloved cat Nancy escaped. She doesn’t know the area and she’s lost.”
Nancy was, of course, wearing the colors of her beloved football team, Manchester City F.C., when she left the house, perhaps to help scare off any other potential predators.
“Having your home broken into is a violation that leaves you hurt and deeply upset. To come home to it after being in work for over 24 hours made it feel even worse,” Nicholls told IBTimes UK. “Alex and I both spent our Christmas looking after critically ill children. It felt so depressing that we had no Christmas to look forward to; we’d planned to have our Christmas Day on Boxing Day with our parents. We felt so sick that we couldn’t eat, and all we wanted to do was find our cat.”
Once their plea was shared on Twitter, it wasn’t long before this tragic story started gaining traction.
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“This is my awesome friend who did a 24-hour shift on Children’s Intensive Care over Xmas, only to get burgled and lose their beloved pet,” posted NHS doctor and TV presenter Ranj Singh. “If you see her, please get in touch!”
“Dear burglars. Look at what this guy was doing for a job while you were stealing from him on Christmas Day. You defy description,” wrote BBC TV news presenter Simon McCoy.
Nicholls, a pediatric intensive care consultant, was helping children with serious health issues the night the burglary took place. It’s a lot of responsibility, and an incredibly stressful position. Coming home to find the thieves’ handiwork, and his cat missing, provided little relief.
Thankfully, after 12 hours of searching, Nancy was found.
“We found her last night, cold and terrified. She’s back to her normal self today thankfully,” Nicholls posted to Twitter. Before long, she was curled up and purring next to her humans.
“So 3200 retweet’s and 12 hours of searching. Both me and @knightnurseXx are delighted that Nancy is home,” Nicholls wrote. “More than a little overwhelmed by the kind thoughts and love from people. Thieves can steal objects, but they’re replaceable. Nancy is one in a million.”
There is no word yet on whether those involved in the burglary have been apprehended, but we’re sure Nicholls and Knight had a much merrier Christmas with their family restored.
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Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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