For one couple from York, their Burmese cat, Poppy, was a hugely important part of the healing process after their long battle with infertility. When parenthood was no longer an option, Mamta, from Nether Poppleton, set up a not-for-profit social enterprise called Flower Power York to support lonely, socially isolated and vulnerable people impacted by life changing events.
The idea presented itself while she nurtured her own cut flower patch, during a time she was dealing with loneliness, isolation and depression herself. This was a first step to recovery, giving her a way to channel her nurturing instincts, and focus on a new purpose.
With life at home still full of sadness not having a family of their own, the couple decided to get Poppy, a cat with very endearing childlike traits. She became their 'feline' child, providing a huge source of comfort and enjoyment. Yes Poppy is a cat, but she has had a profound impact on the couple's mental health and wellbeing, and changed their lives for the better.
On the 14th of March, Poppy went missing, from Nether Poppleton, leaving a gaping hole. Despite 1500 leaflet drop in the village there have been no sightings. She is feared to have got into a vehicle and transported elsewhere, or taken deliberately.