A plucky cat survived being locked in a derelict hotel for a week by licking the sauce from inside of cans of beans.
Simba the four-year-old tabby was left with nothing to eat or drink but the tomato sauce from the inside of cans after being trapped in the building.
He managed to find some cans discarded by a group of homeless people before being discovered seven days later by the owner of the hotel.
The first thing the thirsty feline did when he returned to his flat in Whitby, North Yorks., was to take a huge drink from the tap at the kitchen sink.
Owner Sarah Pattinson, 29, was devastated when her pampered pet failed to return home after his night out on Sunday March 17.
Sarah, who runs gift shop Lucinda’s Attic in the seaside resort, said: “Simba is a very mollycoddled moggy, he doesn’t like to go out during the day so he will go out for a few hours when we get home from work.
“He has a potter around the back yards and will usually come back when we call him in by blowing a whistle when it is time for us to go to bed.”
But on that night Simba, named after the animated Disney film’s Lion King, did not return.
Sarah and her partner, William McGill, who is 23 and works in housing, went out looking for him, shaking his cat food and blowing the whistle to attract his attention.
They spent the following week in a nightly routine of searching around the quaint seaside resort, made famous by British explorer Captain Cook, searching for their beloved pat.
Sarah said: “My worst fear was that he was trapped somewhere, Simba is a very spoiled and likes us to do everything for him, I was worried he might be needing us to help.
“We were asking around and had posted something on Facebook when, one week later, somebody had made their own post to say they had found a cat.”
It turned out Simba had been trapped in a boarded up hotel, The Avlon, just two doors down from their flat.
“The hotel is up for sale,” said Sarah. “The owner said it was lucky that she had returned when she did, but she was shocked to find a cat there.
“She had kept Simba in and fed him a bit of food and looked after him.
“I got the call at 1am and I went straight around to get him and bring him home.
“It looked like the place had had squatters and there appeared to be a lot of empty bean cans strewn in the kitchen.
“Apart from that, there didn’t appear to be any other means of Simba to survive.
“He must have been licking the inside of the cans to get food and fluids. I am so pleased they were there, or he could of been a has-bean.
“He is a very lucky cat.
“When I got him home he jumped straight up to his water spot at the side of the sink for me to put that tap on for him.
“He was very thirsty.
“When I looked into it it says that canned beans are not so great for cats as they have a high sodium content, but I suppose it must have been enough sustenance to keep him alive.
“He was very thirsty though, and also a little lighter, he was a chubby cat.
“A vet friend told me I had to feed him little and often to get him back on his food, I’m sure he’ll be back to normal before we know it.
“And despite being a little wary of us when we got him back he seems to be back to his cheeky self – full of beans, you could say. I’m grateful to those beans.”