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During June 2006, at Bradwell-on-Sea in the south-eastern English county of Essex, a man driving a mechanical digger set about a house, apparently with the intention of demolishing it. He succeeded fairly well, as can be seen from the photograph! The house owner's partner was in one of the bedrooms at the time, but had a very lucky escape and was unhurt.
It was feared that their cat Ashley had died during the incident, but the following day a policeman spotted her peeking out through broken floorboards, and she was able to walk out unharmed through the rubble-strewn bedroom. The owners of Ashley, a pedigree Korat, said: 'We've lost thousands of pounds worth of stuff in the house, but none of that matters now we know Ashley is fine.'
A man was being questioned by police abut the incident, which destroyed two cars as well as the house and damaged a police car. The dispute was allegedly over money.
Update: The dispute was indeed about money. The resident of the damaged house which later had to be demolished was the landlord of Robert Taylor, the man in the digger. Taylor wanted revenge after an argument about his rent; at the end of 2006 he was jailed for 6 years for his actions. (It's a good job we don't all take our disputes to such extreme lengths! Ed.)
Early in November 2007 the Swan Inn at Ironbridge in the county of Shropshire, in the English West Midlands, received a bonus with their delivery of kegs of Carlsberg lager, in the shape of this handsome black-and-white cat! Apparently he'd been clinging to the truck's metal frame between the wheels, near the rear doors. The driver knew he was there but was unable to entice him out, and had to keep to his delivery schedule. He didn't know where the cat had come 'on board', as a couple of deliveries had been made in other places before arriving at Ironbridge.
Fortunately the staff at the Swan were able to persuade Puss to leave his precarious perch and he was taken in for a cuddle and a bit of refreshment after his unscheduled trip. He was not microchipped, so his origin could not be determined, but the cleaner at the pub said she would give him a home. Her young son, shortly to have a birthday, was thrilled to bits and thought the cat was an early birthday present! His name? Well, he was called Carlsberg, of course!
Carlsberg was very lucky that all ended well for him; his journey could easily have had a tragic outcome.
A few days later: After seeing his picture in the Shropshire Star newspaper, Jennie Harris, from the nearby village of Broseley, came forward and revealed that Carlsberg was actually her cat and his real name was Boots. She lives next door to a pub, so he must have climbed on the brewery's lorry when it called there. 'He's always been adventurous,' she said, 'and has probably used up quite a few of his nine lives now.' He hadn't gone missing before, although he did have a habit of climbing through open windows in other people's houses 'but now he seems prouder than ever,' said Jenny. Meanwhile Catherine Redgrave, the cleaner who gave Boots a temporary home, was pleased that he had found his proper home, and was planning to acquire a 'full-time cat' of her own to share with her young son.
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Our featured feline at the head of the page is Socks, pictured in 2003 surveying his 'estate' in the early morning sunshine. Affectionately known as Soxy, he blossomed from a thin and hungry stray into a substantial and handsome cat who loved life and company, and his gentle ways endeared him to many friends. He is now no longer with us, but you can read more from his human companion here.
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Page created July 2006, with later revisions and additions