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Image courtesy of Wikimedia user Alvesgaspar

Image courtesy of Wikimedia user Alvesgaspar

I’ve read a couple of posts recently about animals and pets that came to sad end. So, to balance things out a little, here’s a story that doesn’t (come to a sad end that is).

Long ago and far away there was a cat called Tiger (the picture above is a dead-ringer for the guy). He wasn’t called Tiger to start with, only after we’d rescued him, but after we’d rescued him, Tiger was a good name. He was seriously aloof and had a penchant for digging his claws into anything. Drapes were a favorite, but armchairs or human flesh were a close run second. Anyway, he had character and moved with us to drapes-a-new on a several of occasions.

One of those moves led us to build a house in one of the many great towns in Devon. It was on one of the rare flat patches of that county. Eight other people were building houses around us and several were still in the process when we moved in, so lorries were frequently in the neighborhood.

Tiger (now joined by several other waifs and strays we’d acquired along the way) loved the area, largely on account of the fact there was a large wood and manor house behind us – an ideal hunting ground.

One day we returned home and fed the cats as usual, only Tiger wasn’t there. He never missed the opportunity to eat, so this was unusual. By the end of the evening it was a unique.

We fruitlessly searched the neighborhood, the woods (great fun when all you’ve got is a flashlight and you know there are traps in there), and the half built houses. There was no sign of him in the morning either.

The days went by, and I kept imagining I would walk around a corner or into a room and he’d be there, just like he always was. Only he never was.

Two weeks later I was giving up hope, but one evening I returned home to find the light flashing on the answer-phone. A quaint sounding little old lady left a message about finding a cat with our name and address. Sure enough she had found him. He was thin, scraggy, and incredibly glad to see us. He even kept his claws in check for the reunion. The most amazing thing was the fact that this little old lady lived forty miles away.

We put his traveling down to having jumped on a delivery truck, kept him in for a few days, and he gradually got back to his old ways (mainly the ones involving his claws). After three days it was definitely time to let him back out in the neighborhood, the drapes couldn’t take any more.

That evening the house was one cat short for dinner. I couldn’t believe it. Maybe he was just staying out late? Nope, one more fruitless search of the woods confirmed that. I scoured the building sites in the morning, but there was no sign of him.

I went to work miserable, but returned home to a blinking answer-phone light. Sure enough the little old lady had Tiger. This time he wasn’t thin and scraggy, but he did seem pretty pleased to be rescued.

Returning home I let him out of the car and watched him touring the half built homes. Our neighbors returned home and we chatted about having rescued him again. Tiger in the meantime disappeared under the neighbors truck. We got curious, but couldn’t see him. Eventually we popped the hood and found Tiger happily curled up in the engine bay. What’s more he’d been in there before, all the soundproofing had been clawed to shreds.

It turned out this neighbor was a mine inspector and travelled all over Devon, in particular, to a mine just across the river from a little old lady…

That Tiger been able to survive inside the engine compartment was a miracle. He’d clung on as the truck wound around the twisty roads of Devon, and the rough ground of several mines. Even more amazing was that he seemed prepared to give it another go!

Every morning afterwards, our neighbor’s morning ritual was to open the hood of his truck and evict Tiger before driving to work. Of course, Tiger’s ritual was to wait for him to return and crawl back into a warm engine bay.

Fortunately, thick gloves are standard issue to mine inspectors.

How about you? Got a pet related good luck story to share?


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