Britain's South West News Service reports that bed & breakfast owner Robert Gray, 56, thought the peculiar, bandaged, feline-shaped object was a stuffed cat -- so he took it to the vet for an X-ray. He was shocked to discover that his strange attic find, inherited from his Egyptologist father, was actually a "perfectly preserved ancient puss," complete with its face, ears, spine and brain.
"My father acquired the cat in the 1970s as a token of thanks from a museum," Gray told SWNS. "It's been in the loft languishing there for 50 years."
The mummified cat was verified by the experts at the Royal Cornwall Museum (Gray is pictured above with the mummy and museum curator Jane Marley). They reveal that the rare object is worth 2,000 pounds (around $3,100). X-rays of the ancient feline reveal that it was a "prized pet," rather than a sacrifice to the ancient Egyptian gods. (Ancient Egyptians were known to sacrifice animals as offerings to the gods, but they would also mummify pets, in hopes that their beloved animal companions would follow them into the afterlife).
"History was made today," Gray told a community newspaper, This Is Cornwall, of his unusual find. "It's something that has lived with me for most of my life and it's revealed itself today."
The Weirdest Things Found in Homes
B&B Owner Robert Gray Discovers 2,000-Year-Old Mummified Cat in Attic
Police officers in Portsmouth, Va., called to an abandoned home to recover a stray dog found dozens more animals inside -- and none of them were the usual house pets.
Twenty-three turtles of various sizes, a 4-foot-long canebrake rattlesnake, an eel, a shovelnose catfish and a lovebird were found trolling broken fish tanks, dresser drawers and other parts of the home. Two more turtles, each weighing about 50 pounds, were found in discarded bathtubs in the home's backyard.
A Los Angeles man got the surprise of his life when he peeked into a vault under his backyard hot tub that he hadn't touched in two months. Inside the vault was a duffel bag (pictured above) he had never seen there before -- and it contained 61 jars, bags and vacuum-sealed packages filled with $175,000 worth of marijuana.
A Carson City, Nev., man who was found dead in his home left only $200 in the bank -- but a fortune worth millions more hidden inside his house. Walter Samaszko Jr., who's been described as a recluse, had been dead for more than a month when authorities discovered his body. And as officials were clearing out his home for sale, they uncovered a pot of gold -- literally. Samaszko had been hiding gold bars and coins worth a total of $7 million in boxes in his house and garage. Some of the items included coins from Mexico, England, Austria and South Africa dating back to 1872.
People find some seriously weird things in their homes, but this might top the list. Inside Charlotte Donahue's home in Prince George, Va. were four inmates who had recently escaped from a youth prison. "One was found in my attic," said Donahue. "The other was found in one of my closets, and the last two were found in my bedroom."
The inmates -- 17-year-old Alvin Rogers, 15-year-old Yusef Collier, 17-year-old Shelvy Edwards and 15-year-old Raekwon Brown -- had escaped from Crater Juvenile Detention Center after a riot had broken out. The escaped inmates trekked a mile in the woods and swamp before they broke into Donahue's home to hide. Police had been searching for 10 hours before they spotted Donahue's broken front door window.
In a discovery that seems like something out of an Edgar Allan Poe story, a Michigan family uncovered a skeleton in their attic as they were remodeling their 19th century home. The older of two girls who live in the Union City home with their parents, Bryant and Teasha McIntosh, discovered the bones in a secret space beneath the attic floor. The girls, both history buffs, were exploring the home during its remodeling, when they found the bones and a corset.
"We expected to look for artifacts," Bryant McIntosh told AOL Real Estate. "We never thought we'd find bones in the attic."
For 25 years, Colin Steer was bewildered by a sunken portion of the floor under the couch in his Plymouth, England, home. At one point, he dug about a foot under the floor, but his wife, Vanessa, stopped him from going farther.
"My wife just wanted me to cover it back up because we had three children running around at the time," Steer said. "I always wanted to dig it out to see if I could find a pot of gold at the bottom."
After he retired, he went back to digging -- and what he found under his home, some might say, is a golden discovery. Steer uncovered a 30-inch-wide, 33-foot-deep medieval well under the floor that site plans indicate could date back to the 16th century. Hidden deep inside was a sword, which Steer grabbed while he was excavating the well, and using a rope to lift out debris.
A demolition crew preparing rundown historic buildings in Louisville, Ky., for interior demolition uncovered an abandoned sado-masochistic swingers club that has sat empty since at least the mid-1990s underneath the buildings. The decaying club was found two stories below street level, filled with paintings depicting sexually explicit and violent images. One image showed a person in bondage, and another depicted a man devouring another person. Also painted on the wall was the logo of the club, named "LATEX."
Boxes containing the cremated remains of 56 people stored at a southwest Ohio house under foreclosure are the same ones that a state regulatory agency found at a now-closed funeral home. Dayton police said that a contractor hired to remove remaining items from the house co-owned by the former director of the funeral home found the boxes in a closet Tuesday in the city north of Cincinnati. The boxes labeled with names and dates of death of the deceased individuals were collected by the Montgomery County coroner's office.