A pet owner was baffled after he noticed his cat's missing GPS collar was moving around his neighbourhood -- after it was "eaten by a rat".
Andy Kindell, 52, bought moggy Alex a special £130 collar with a GPS tracking chip so he could monitor the cat's location via an app on his phone.
The one-year-old kitty came home without the collar - and with a nasty injury on its paw - so Andy immediately logged into his app to track down the pricey gadget.
The map showed the tracker moving in real time through his neighbour's gardens - but every time Andy went to to the location the collar and tracker was nowhere to be seen.
The moving dot appeared to show the collar - or at least its tiny GP tracker tag - was under his feet, beneath the roads and pavements.
The married dad-of-two followed the moving map marker for days before the battery died and soon realised the routes followed drain routes.
A trip to the vets revealed moggy Alex's poorly paw had been caused by a rat bite, and the vet said the pet had probably lost its collar in a scuffle with a rodent.
Andy from East Ham, east London, said: "Alex didn't have it on and that's when I looked at the app and saw it in a different road and thought I would just go and get it in the morning so I closed the app.
"When I woke up I went to get the collar and that's when I realised something wasn't right.
"At first I thought some silly sausage had put it on their cat.
"I went to a neighbour's garden where it said it was there was nothing in their garden.
"Just then, the app showed it go into a different garden and across the road.
"I thought I was going mad.
"I could see this GPS signal crossing the road but there was nothing in front of me.
"I saw the app said the GPS signal was weak and that's when it occurred to me that it was underground.
"The only conclusion I have is that I'm mad or it's a rat in the drains. It's the last thing I expected.
"It might have eaten it, some rats are really big so it could be possible.
"He's had a run in with a rat and was bitten on his right paw - I didn't know this until we took him to the vet.
"He's lost that fight and he's lost that tracker."
Mr Kindell, an engineer, bought the gadget - a white rectangular device on a collar - when Alex went missing for two days, and they found the pet on a roof.
But days after getting the piece of tech, his pet came home on March 2 suffering an injury to his paw and the collar was missing.
Andy assumed the collar had fallen off in the scuffle - until he tried to track down the missing gadget, which he could see moving on the app before his eyes.
As he approached a garden where the tracker said the collar would be, he was puzzled to see nothing there.
On the app screen it shot off again into another garden and then across a road.
Baffled, he watched as the tracking app showed what should have been an inanimate object - a white rectangular device on a collar - darting around the area.
After seeing the app indicating the GPS signal was weak he finally realised it was underground.
Over the next three days he watched as the collar criss-crossed around the streets near his home - often under his feet - until the battery died.
It's final location was an intersection of drains and roads a few streets away where rats "mostly like to hang out".
"What I could not get my head around was the speed of the thing," he said.
"I still find it difficult to believe."