OMAR the Egyptian cat survived the downfall of the Mubarak regime.
Despite violent clashes, strikes and looting, Omar managed to escape the north African country unscathed.
But now his adopted owners fear Omar may be in another kind of danger after going missing in rural West Oxfordshire.
Omar was found by Railton and Dawn Elliott while on holiday at the Red Sea resort of El Gouna at a time when many people were fleeing the disorder in February, 2011.
The abandoned animal made friends with the pair, who run the Kidlington-based Elliotts of Oxford chocolate company, and they ended up spending £6,000 bringing him back to the UK.
But Mr Elliott said he and his wife were now heart- broken at his loss.
He said: “He has loved his new surroundings in the sleepy village of Combe, particularly the surrounding fields and woods where he could roam to his heart’s content. I’ve had cats all my life and never known one to be so gentle, so loving and tender.”
He said they were almost alone at the resort, due to concerns about escalating violence in Egypt, as hundreds of people fled the country.
He said: “The holiday resort was huge but deserted, so we were upgraded to a villa right on the beach front. The next morning the most beautiful cat appeared.
“It was clear that he was an abandoned, not feral, cat.
“He had sought refuge in a bush immediately to the front of our villa and over the next few days we fed him three times a day with food we collected from the hotel buffet, and became great friends with our new chum whom we named Omar in homage to the great actor, Omar Sharif.”
At the end of the holiday, the couple couldn’t bear to leave the cat to fend for itself, so they approached the hotel manager and unsuccessfully offered to pay vet bills if the hotel adopted Omar.
Mr Elliott said: “We were left with no option but to bring him home with us. Most people come back from holiday with a wooden or china animal but we were going to bring a real one back.”
After managing to arrange for someone to care for him temporarily in Egypt, the couple had Omar flown back to the UK where he spent six months in quarantine.
The couple, who have been putting up posters and fliers through neighbours’ letter boxes, have offered a £25 reward for the cat’s return – although Mr Elliot said he would also throw in a lifetime’s supply of chocolate.
He said: “We are heartbroken.”
Have you seen Omar?
Call Mr and Mrs Elliott on 01865 373343.