Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tom and ferry! Mystery of the French feline found wandering around a sleepy English village hundreds of miles from home

Lost paws: Tommy faces six months in quarantine unless his owner turns up with his pet passport

A channel-hopping moggy has left rescuers baffled after it was discovered roaming the streets of an English village hundreds of miles from its French home.

The Gallic cat, named Tommy, was found injured by RSPCA officers after he was spotted wandering near the Grand Union Canal in Cosgrove, Northamptonshire.

Vets learned from a microchip embedded under the cat's skin that he is registered in Normandy, north east France. But the chip contained no telephone number, leaving them puzzled as to his true origin.

Sue Taft, RSPCA cat rehoming coordinator, said the French feline was not believed to be a rabies threat despite coming in without quarantine.

'It really is a mystery as to how he got here. He was found near a canal, maybe he got a boat across the Channel,' she said.

'He does have a certain French way about him. He's very aloof sometimes and has a bit of a swagger.

'We found out that the surname of the people who had him in France sounded English but we are baffled as to why he's turned up here.'

It is possible the cat hopped on to a freight train in France destined for the Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal in Northamptonshire.

But his mammoth journey has obviously taken its toll on the cat. 'He is a little poorly and has an abscess and some nasty growth around his liver, so it might be his last chance to see his owners,' Ms Taft added.

RSPCA spokeswoman Sarah Hart said: 'We have no idea where Tommy has come from. We don't know if someone came over with him from France but just hasn't changed the microchip yet, or whether he came on holiday with someone but got lost. The possibilities are endless.

'He was found near a busy area of the canal so he could even have got off a boat, in which case he could have come from quite far afield.

'Tommy is a really lovely and friendly cat and we really want to see if we can find an owner before putting him into quarantine.

'We really hope that this appeal will ring a bell with someone.'

Unless his owners or a local owner can be found, with the appropriate vaccination certificates and pet passport, Tommy cannot be rehomed until he has been in quarantine for six months.

source: dailymail

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