updated 02/14/2013 AT 2:00 PM ET
•originally published 02/15/2013 AT 11:25 AM ET
Some people have skeletons in their closets. Others have preserved cat remains in their attics.
That’s just what Robert Gray found at the Cornwall, England, bed and breakfast he owns. After first discovering what appeared to be a stuffed cat in his attic, Gray thought it was a kooky antique of sorts. But an X-ray scan by a veterinarian revealed something even more bizarre: his finding was a 2,000-year-old Egyptian mummy.
“My father acquired the cat in the 1970s as a token of thanks from a museum,” Gray says. “It’s been in the loft languishing there for 50 years.”
Although Gray says the cat is already earning interest from interior designers, he has a grander idea for this piece of history, a tribute to the ancient Egyptians’ belief in the afterlife.
“It could fetch a couple of thousand pounds,” he says, “but I will probably donate it to a museum.”