A bemused homeowner was shocked to find the body of a "mummified cat" in his garden shed.
Adam White, 30, from Hindley, was demolishing the roof of his outhouse when he discovered what is believed to be the shrivelled body of a domestic cat amid the rubble.
The father-of-two, who has lived in the house for three decades, did not believe at first that the cat was real until he noticed its teeth and claws still intact.
“I think it’s been there quite a long time,” he said. “I did think it could have been a piece of expanding foam because there was rubble everywhere and it was in there. I couldn’t make my mind up whether it was an ornament or something but when I saw its teeth and rib cage I knew it was real.
“There was a hole in the corner of the building so I don’t know whether it’s crawled in there and got stuck up climbed up to die.
“I had to put it in a bag, my little lad was out with me. I had to pretend to him that it wasn’t real. Luckily my other son was in bed. He is really obsessed with animals, I think he would have been taken aback with it.”
Adam, a plumber by trade, grew up in the house before buying it years later with his wife Rebecca. The gruesome discovery was made during work being carried on in preparation for an extension.
The family has appealed with neighbours to find any potential owners, but to no avail.
For mummification to occur, a body must have been exposed to certain conditions, including particular chemicals, low humidity or a lack of air which prevent the tissue from decaying.
A picture of the animal, posted on Facebook by Adam’s dad Malcolm, has caused shock and upset throughout the online community,
It shows the animal in a state which mirrors that of the “Lindow Man”- the body of a man found mummified in a peat bog in Cheshire.
People across Wigan have commented concerned that the cat may have died slowly or painfully and that it may be someone’s missing pet.
Ali n Neil Burwood said: “I’d have been really upset to find this. It would’ve spoilt my day. I like the thought that it went there to spend its last hours and was happy and comfortable.”
Others have offered to help find the owner by scanning for microchips, although it is unknown whether the feline was chipped as it may have been there for decades.