The Artful Dodger – A Ginger Tom Catching the Bus by Himself
Some cats are far more resourceful than we ever give them credit for. Take the Artful Dodger for instance, a ginger tomcat aptly named after the famous Dickens’ character, from Bridport, UK.
Not satisfied to merely roam close to home like a regular cat, Artful Dodger has taken to hopping on and off public transport at the bus station near his house.
The 15 year old cat waits at the bus stop for the bus to arrive and then travels the 10 mile round trip to neighboring Charmouth so often, that the drivers started bringing in tins of cat food to work. They even know what stop to let him off at.
At the end of his journeys the roving moggy hops off the bus close to his house and returns home in time for dinner.
His owner, Mrs Fee Jeanes, 44 believes that Dodger first took a liking to the buses as they heat up like a warm greenhouse when the sun is on them.
And so relaxed is the dodger on his travels he often falls asleep on the laps of bemused passengers.
Mrs Jeanes, told The Telegraph: “We moved here 19 months ago and our house backs onto the bus station.
“He is an old boy and is very friendly. At first Dodger kept going to the bus station because people there fed him tit-bits and scraps of food.
“But then he started climbing on board the buses.
“Then last week I found out he had travelled to Charmouth and back, which is a 10 mile round trip.
“I hadn’t seen him all morning until my daughter Emily told me one of her friends had just seen him on the bus at Charmouth.
“I couldn’t believe it and panicked. I got into my car to go off and look for him and then at that moment the bus pulled up near our house and lo and behold he got off.
“That afternoon I saw Dodger climb on board another bus and I rushed to tell the driver.
“I was shocked when she told me Dodger was always on there and liked to sit on the seats because they are warm from where people have been sitting.
“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 now a familiar sight to regular bus passengers and drivers. However, Mrs Jeanes still receives several calls a week from people asking if she has lost a ginger cat.
The bus firm ‘First’, are aware of their unique customer and do not mind at all that he is hopping on board. Mind you, a spokesman for the company said they do not actively encourage it.
He said: “The drivers have been asked not to feed him because we recognise that the 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 him being around the bus station.”
And being an elderly cat, if such things as feline bus passes were available, Artful Dodger would certainly be entitled to free fares.[Source: The Telegraph]