Cat regularly catches bus in Dorset

From last year’s Torygraph, contributed by alert reader Kaoru (whose girlfriend found the article), we learn that a cat named Artful Dodger. . . well, I’ll let the paper tell the tale:

The ginger moggie, who was named after the Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist, has taken to hopping on and off the public transport at the bus station near his home.

The 15-year-old Tom even sits on bemused passengers’ laps as the bus makes up to 10 mile round trips from Bridport to Charmouth in Dorset.

Dodger is such a regular customer that some of the drivers take tins of cat food to work with them to give to him. They even know what stop to let him off at.

At the end of his journies the roving moggy returns to his home and owner Fee Jeanes.

Mrs Jeanes, 44, believes Dodger first took a liking to the buses as they are warm like greenhouses when the sun is on them.

The piece goes on to recount how Dodger learned to ride the bus to and fro, which you’ll have to see in the original piece. The article ends like this:

“The drivers buy cat food for him and he sits on people’s laps.

“Sometimes he just sits in the middle of the road and waits for the bus to turn up before he gets on.”

Dodger is familiar to regular bus passengers and drivers, but Mrs Jeanes still receives several calls a week asking if she has lost a ginger cat.

. . . A spokesman for bus firm First said they didn’t mind Dodger on their buses but didn’t actively encourage him.

He said: “The drivers have been asked not to feed it because we recognise that cat has an owner and we do not want to discourage it from returning home for food and shelter, but in principle we do not have a problem with it being around the bus station.

“Given this cat is elderly we suspect it would be eligible for free travel, perhaps a bus puss, if such a thing existed.”

Note the Freudian slip “bus puss” in the last sentence (I can’t believe that was deliberate!) “Artful Dodger” is an appropriate name!

I’m not sure what the age is for cats getting free bus passes, but since felids don’t pay taxes I don’t think they’d be eligible for a Senior Puss anyway.

Artful Dodger hops off the bus near his home in Bridport, Dorset Photo: Peter Willows/BNPS

22 Comments

  1. Posted November 21, 2012 at 2:23 am | Permalink

    I don’t know how the owner can let the cat do that. I’d be way too worried about it’s safety. The cats at our house can freely go inside or outside but we don’t let them out of the front and when they do sneak out we try to get them back inside. That’s on a calm suburban road, if we were near a busy road we would be even more careful.

    • Kevin Anthoney
      Posted November 21, 2012 at 3:39 am | Permalink

      It’s the devine right of every cat to sit in the middle of the road and wash its bottom.

    • Marella
      Posted November 21, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      And how are you planning to stop him?

  2. Posted November 21, 2012 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    great report – with ironic focus on evolution – my cat sends an applause …

  3. moleatthecounter
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    “…we recognise that cat has an owner …”

    Cats don’t have ‘owners’. They allow humans to think that they are the owners.

    Hope this helps…

    • Posted November 21, 2012 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      Rather, cats have slaves, and they graciously permit their slaves the dignity of pretending that they’re really the staff.

      b&

    • Jeremy Pereira
      Posted November 21, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Dogs have owners, cats have staff.

      • gravelinspector
        Posted November 21, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, I now have a dancing image in my head of Gandalf (or Rincewind) as a cat.

  4. Posted November 21, 2012 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    That’s nothing, I have a Russian Hamster that regularly drives me to work in Bournemouth from Poole!

  5. Hempenstein
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Fascinating. Is Dorset on your itinerary?

  6. Posted November 21, 2012 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    This is brilliant. :P

  7. Posted November 21, 2012 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on An atheist, a secularist, an agnostic. and commented:
    Because every once in a while, reading a news story about a cool cat is better than discussing my mortality. Seriously though, this made me smile wide.

  8. Sarah Lawson
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    A Freudian slip or just a witty pun?

    • Jeremy Pereira
      Posted November 21, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      I’m sure it was deliberate.

      • Jeff Johnson
        Posted November 21, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        “perhaps a bus puss, if such a thing existed.”

        If a bus pass does exist, then it must be deliberate, because the intention could not have been to write “bus pass”, since they exist.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted November 21, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

          Yes, I’m sure it was intentional. Note that in UK ‘pussy’ most often refers to felines, unlike in the US where it commonly refers to an item of anatomy.

          I do love the tolerant commonsense approach of the bus company, by the way.

  9. Chris
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Was this one picked up at any point?

    http://www.pawnation.com/2009/10/20/british-cat-catches-local-train-to-visit-penguins-and-fish/

  10. Posted November 21, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    That’s cute but sad also that this owner doesn’t even worry about safety issues with his cat. The cat also looks like he has crappy muscle tone (15 is not that old if you feed cats the right food people, the oldest cat on record is 39) and sad the cat feels the need to board a bus for entertainment / company / food.

    Some people just shouldn’t own pets.

  11. MadScientist
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    “Bus puss” – everyone has those in New Zealand. You need a bus puss to get from the airport to your temporary domicile – you wouldn’t want to miss the Hotel Chickens.

  12. marksolock
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Mark Solock Blog.

  13. William
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    There also used to be another bus-riding cat, until he was killed by a car in early 2010. His owner Susan Finden wrote a book about him, “Casper the Commuting Cat”.

    • William
      Posted November 21, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t intend the picture to show up here when I posted the URL…


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