Mackem moggy in the limelight

"That's our Keano" Christine Smith with her children Kiara, 10, and Dembry, 14, and a photograph of the cat which disrupted the Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur football match on Monday evening

"That's our Keano" Christine Smith with her children Kiara, 10, and Dembry, 14, and a photograph of the cat which disrupted the Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur football match on Monday evening

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THE cat is out of the bag – a Sunderland mother today claimed the moggy which stopped a Premiership football match is hers.

Christine Smith believes that the tabby, which ran across the pitch during Monday night’s game at Anfield between Liverpool and Tottenham, is her family’s missing pet.

She says the feline, called Keano after the former Black Cats manager, may have managed the 160-mile journey by finding its way into a truck destined for Merseyside.

“It’s not an Anfield cat, it’s a Mackem cat,” said Christine of South Hylton.

“It seems mad to think it is Keano, given how far away Liverpool is, but we are sure it is him.

“When he disappeared a month ago, we thought we had lost him. It was so strange to see him on television.

“We think it is definitely him. He has a black mark under his chin and a scratch across his nose.

“We don’t know how he got there. It’s amazing.

“All we can suggest is that our neighbour drives a lorry long distances and he might have grabbed a lift.”

Christine, whose story was also to appear in the Liverpool Echo newspaper today, added: “Keano is a very streetwise cat and he loves to be outdoors.

“He would definitely be able to stand up for himself. It is mad to think it is him, but on close-up it does look like Keano.

“You do hear of pets who mysteriously turn up hundreds of miles away.”

The tabby scampered across the pitch 11 minutes into the game.

After Spurs goalkeeper Brad Friedel attempted to get it, a steward finally managed to scoop it up.

After the game, Liverpool FC said they had released the cat into the local area, and that they had seen it outside the players’ entrance to the stadium during the past few weeks.

Soon after its appearance on TV, a spoof Twitter account was set up called Anfield Cat, which soon built up more than 30,000 followers.

Twitter: @tomwhite7