BRAVE cat Sooty stunned his owners when he limped home with a barbaric metal trap clamped to his leg after being missing for two weeks.
The black and white tom had struggled in vain to get free from the cruel device but managed to drag himself two miles to his home in Nairn, Morayshire.
Sooty survived the agonising ordeal but his leg was so badly damaged by the snare’s metal teeth it had to be amputated.
The moggy’s brush with death saw him dubbed The Great Mewdini.
Last night his shocked owner Carol McGowan revealed her horror at finding her bleeding pet in the garden with the trap on his front, left leg.
She said: ‘My children who are only six and nine saw him first and were in floods of tears. We all were and are still upset about it.
‘How anyone could do this to any animal is beyond me. These horrible traps should not be used any more, it’s disgusting.’
Police are now investigating whether Sooty was snared by the gin trap, which were banned in 1958, on the Cawdor estate, two miles from the McGowans’ home.
Inspector Blair Marquis of Northern Constabulary said: ‘We’re anxious to trace where this one came from.’
This is the fourth time the estate has been at the centre of a police probe into illegal traps.
In July 2001, the rotting carcasses of eight foxes which were thought to have been snared were found hanging from a tree. A month later, a rare golden eagle was found illegally poisoned by a pesticide.
Another investigation was launched last week after animal rights investigators founds snares with the caracasses of swans, hares and rabbits.
A spokesman for the Cawdor estate said: ‘These traps are very dangerous, as well as illegal, and anyone who knows Cawdor estate will find it unbelievable we could have used them. We have no idea who placed these traps.’