Nikita, here, and I think this story is the cutest, craziest, and most awesomest Cat's Meow!
He waits in line! He has a favorite seat! He even knows when to get off the bus!
No, no, NO! I'm NOT talking about my observations of Daddy when he takes me to the Vet!
I'm talking about a 12 year old Cat in Plymouth, England! ;-D
"He just gets on and off as he wants to. Goes for a little ride," says Karen Baxter, a public-relations manager for First UK Bus, who operates local buses in the Plymouth area. "If the drivers notice that he's there, they make sure that he doesn't get off at some random stop. The cat seems to know where to get back off, then he trots off home."
I fully expect the debate over whether allowing this to happen at all is responsible behavior on the part of not only the Human Companion of Casper, but his enablers, of his Wandering, the bus drivers, and passengers, to begin soon, if it hasn't already, somewhere, but while I agree that there are risks involved in what Casper does, he IS an adult, afterall, and obviously is in full control of his mental faculties, able to safely navigate the complexities involved in his little jaunt.
My only real concern is about cars when he crosses the road, and Catnappers, out for a buck, who learn of Casper thru these stories, and try to scam his Human.
***UPDATE -1/31/10: RIP Charming Pussycat! May there be many Busses for you to ride at Rainbow Bridge!***
A reader named Tony has sent me some very sad news:
Sadly the cat's love affair with the open road has proved his downfall after he was killed by a hit-and-run driver, it emerged today.
A notice appeared at the cat's usual bus stop saying: "Many local people knew Casper, who loved everyone. He also enjoyed the bus journeys. Sadly a motorist hit him … and did not stop.
"Casper died from his injuries. He will be greatly missed … he was a much-loved pet who had so much character. Thank you to all those who befriended him."
Such a shame!
From The London Guardian = Casper the commuting cat killed by hit-and-run driver
The local paper covered the story as well, and lots of folks paid tribute in the comments.
Marc Reddy, Managing Director of First Devon and Cornwall, expressed the company’s sympathy for the friendly feline.
He said: “We were devastated to hear that Casper had been involved in an accident; he was a regular passenger on Service 3 in Plymouth and had become very well known across the business.
“On hearing the news of his death, many of the drivers expressed sympathy for him and Susan, and we contacted her to offer our collective condolences.
“Casper touched many people’s lives and clearly had a very exciting life – travelling around Plymouth and who knows where else. I suspect he’s now exploring heaven and is telling all the other cats up there about the many adventures he had.”
Casper was so popular that an image of him was emblazoned onto the side of a First Devon and Cornwall bus.
Mr Reddy said: “Casper’s image will remain on the bus for some time to come, and we hope that seeing it around town will give Susan some comfort.”
He added that Casper is also due to feature in a children’s TV programme later this year, detailing his exploits on the bus in the city.
“His memory will live on, giving people pleasure, for a while yet,” he added.
Plymouth Herald: Celebrity Cat killed in Hit and Run