The search is on for the owner of an inquisitive grey cat who sneaked onto a bus and curled up for a snooze during a 20-mile round trip.
The adventurous cat is thought to be around 4 years old and is currently in the care of a cat rescue centre based in Essex after being discovered on board the First Essex bus from Hadleigh, Essex.
Asha, as she’s currently being called, had no collar and has no microchip so the rescue is appealing for her owners to come forward.
Asha was discovered by the driver as he carried out checks after arriving at the destination five miles away in Southend-on-Sea.
Cats Protection’s Rayleigh, Castle Point and District Branch Welfare Officer Val Self explained, “The driver told me that he spotted something furry under one of the seats and at first thought it was a hat. As he got closer he realised it was a very bewildered looking cat. Fortunately, he was happy to waive her fare and bring her back to the depot and then took her to a vet, who handed her over to us.
“It seems likely she must have hopped onto the bus when it was at the depot for cleaning in the morning, as the doors would have been open, but she may well have snuck on board as passengers got on and off.
“Cats love to find cosy, warm spots so it’s not unusual for them to sneak into cars or the back of a lorry, particularly when it’s so cold outside. However, I’ve not heard of one hopping on to a bus before – it was certainly a little adventure for her.
“She’s not microchipped and had no collar and, so far, we’ve not been able to find her owner. We think she may have been kept as an indoor pet, due to the condition of her claws, and may not be very streetwise. She’s a sweet cat and rather shy, so I think her bus-hopping antics are a one-off and she’d much rather be in a snug warm home.”
Steve Leonard, General Manager for First Essex said: “The friendly cat hitched a ride on the bus after sneaking on board to join bemused commuters travelling from Rayleigh. Obviously, we don’t know how old she is, but I’m sure she will be eligible for a ‘Puss Pass’ allowing free travel, so she’s not broken the ‘Paw’. Our caring driver called a local vet who arranged for her to be safely transported to Cats Protection where volunteers will try and reunite her with her owners. All in a day’s work on the buses.”
Anyone who can help find Asha’s owner should contact Cats Protection’s Rayleigh, Castle Point and District Branch on 03000 12 12 12 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If Asha’s owner cannot be traced within a fortnight of the time that Asha came into care then she will be found a new home.