A cat-owner desperate to find her lost pet came up with a brilliant scheme that’s definitely a step up from sticking a few posters on trees.
Erin Johansen set up “dating profiles” for her black-and-white tuxedo cat Ruby on Tinder and specialist gay dating site Grindr.
A friend altered his own dating profiles to help in the quest for the lost cat.
He changed his account to a photo of Ruby, with a note saying: "A bit strange but our house cat has gone missing. If anyone has seen this cat please message me to let me know, it would be great help".
Because the friend forgot to alter the other details of his profile, users also saw Ruby described as being 23 and white, with an 'average body build'.
Other details described her as being "chill, curious and goofy" and enjoying "karaoke, movies, music and reading".
The profile also said the cat was "a bottom" who was "looking for dates and relationships".
Around eight people contacted Erin about Ruby – three of whom got in touch via Grindr to say they'd seen her cat.
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But Ruby was finally spotted sauntering around in a neighbour's garden just a few doors down from her home – much to her owner's relief.
Erin, who works at a nursery and a juice bar, said that even though her cat wasn't found through Grindr or Tinder, the apps were still a "massive help" in her quest to be reunited with Ruby, and insisted she would employ the method should she run away again.
Erin said: "In the end Ruby was found just a couple of gardens over.
"Someone saw one of the posters and told me, so I just scooped her up and took her home. Although the apps weren't the way she was found, I think it was a massive help.
"People kept their eyes open after seeing the profiles on Grindr and Tinder. It worked quite well, so I think I would do it again if Ruby got lost again."
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On how the idea to advertise her pet on dating apps, Erin explained: "At some point over the weekend, we were looking for her and my friend who already had an active Grindr account said, 'Let's put her on Grindr' – and it was actually quite helpful."
She added: "There's a huge LGBTQ+ community around Brighton and we were hoping to put the word out to as many people as possible.
"We didn't think to change the other bits of the profile, so it said she enjoys karaoke and stuff.
"I thought we would get messages making fun, but everyone took it really seriously and were just looking to help.
"We put posters up but a few were ripped down and stuff, so it's been really nice to see the responses and everybody looking out for Ruby.
"I didn't think about it before, but I think the Grindr and Tinder profiles were actually quite a good idea."
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