A relieved pet owner has finally been reunited with her lost cat - after making profiles for the feline on dating apps Grindr and Tinder.
Erin Johansen's black-and-white tuxedo cat Ruby went missing last weekend from the Elm Grove area of Brighton, leaving her and her friends scouring her local streets for any sign of the feline.
But, after posters the 22-year-old put up on lampposts left her no closer to locating six-year-old Ruby, a friend suggested she use his profile on gay dating app Grindr to help find her.
Though she was at first unsure about the idea, Erin was surprised when users started reporting sightings of Ruby after seeing her photo pop up on the app in the vicinity of Brighton.
However, the friend neglected to change the personal specifications for Ruby - so the profile described her as being “single” with an “average body build”, who had interests in “karaoke, movies and reading”.
The profile also said the cat was “a bottom” who was “looking for dates and relationships”.
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 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.
"In the end Ruby was found just a couple of gardens over,” she said.
"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."
On how the idea to advertise her pet on dating apps, Erin, who lives in the Elm Grove area of the city with husband Lorcan Johansen, 24, said: "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."
Around eight people contacted her about Ruby - three of whom got in touch via Grindr to say they'd seen her cat.
Her friend, who wishes to remain anonymous, 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.”
Erin said: "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.”