An Ottawa couple is pleading for a catnapper to give back their cat after they received a note claiming the "neglected" animal is now living a life of comfort in the country and will not be returned.

Tanya Guay and Michel Giroux told CBC News on Wednesday that they received an anonymous letterFridayinforming them that Slim, their 17-year-old black-and-white longhair,has beenlounging inthe country on a lake, dining on all-natural organic cat food andenjoying the company of a "sweet female cat"since disappearingthree weeksago fromOttawa's New Edinburgh neighbourhood.

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Slim, 17, went missing about a month ago. ((Tanya Guay))

"Obviously, I have no intention of returning him to the city streets to be neglected again," the hand-written letter said. "If you really do care about his well-being, you'll be happy that he now lives a safe, sweet, peaceful, happy life."

Guay and Giroux adopted Slim from the humane society as a three-month old kitten.

The cat, which was collared and had identification tags bearing his address and phone number, often wandered the neighbourhood, but was never gone more than one or two days, Guay said.

"He always checked in," she added. "He had his route and he had his families that he liked to visit. And they knew that and they knew where he lived."

Butthree weeks ago, Slim went missing.

The couple filed a report with the Ottawa Humane Society and put up 350 posters bearing a photo and description of their lost cat.

Two weeks later, when they thought the worst had happened to him, they received the letter in the mail.

It claimed the cat was found thin, hungry and filthy, with matted fur and covered in sores.

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Tanya Guay, who adopted Slim from the humane society when he was a three-month old kitten, said he is loved and not neglected. ((CBC))

"We were relieved in one sense because we thought, 'He's alive.' But in another sense, we were angry," Guay said. "This person has taken it upon themselves to think that they have saved a cat when in point of fact, this cat is not neglected and he's loved and we just want him home."

Giroux said he worries that Slim will eventually think of the people and the routine that had been part of his life for 17 years. "He'll decide to try and make his way back here and, from the country, I don't think he'll make it. So that's very worrisome."

The couple said they have filed a report with the Ottawa police in the hope that it will improve their chances of finding their cat.

ButGuay said they don't think theperson who took Slimacted maliciously and they just want their pet back.