RESIDENTS of an English town are considering hiring a pet detective to investigate the disappearance of nearly 50 cats in one neighborhood, dubbed the "Purr-muda Triangle".
Over the past five years, 45 cats have been reported missing from an area around Meriden Avenue in Stourbridge, in the West Midlands.
In some cases, their collars have been found, but with no other trace of the pets.
Meridien Avenue resident Julie Wootton lost her 15-year-old tabby, Norman, last year.
"We have ended up with a Bermuda Triangle for cats," she told the Daily Express ."It's terrible, the area is just bereft of cats now.
"Cat lovers have stopped replacing pets because they can't face the heartache."
The latest to go missing was a tabby called Gizmo a few weeks ago. Owner Kerry Davis told the newspaper: "We moved into this residential area so the cats would be safe. This is just devastating." Gizmo's sister Lily vanished last year.
An un-named RSPCA volunteer told the paper the organization suspected the cats were being stolen.
"We have grave concerns about the number of cats going missing around Meriden Avenue," she said."We are not re-homing any cats in that area until we can be assured of their safety."
All the beloved moggies disappeared from the same area of a suburb, leaving owners heartbroken and baffled.
None of the 45 pets was ever seen again and no bodies have been found.
The mystery in leafy Woolaston, West Midlands, is centered on Meriden Avenue and its surrounding roads.
Locals fear thieves are stealing the cats to sell — and the RSPCA says it will not re-home any more in the area for fear of them meeting the same fate.
Julie Wootton, whose 15-year-old cat Norman went missing last year, said: “It's terrible.”
Another owner, Cheryl Vine, said: “Someone must be trapping them. It's just too weird for so many to go missing in such a small area.”
Abi Thomas, whose family have lost three cats — Felix, Star and Whiskers — said they could not bear to have any more.
She said: “It was heartbreaking.”
The RSPCA said it had “grave concerns” but lack of evidence made it hard for officers to investigate.