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.