A PET cat took a 1,500-mile road trip to the south of France after stowing away in her owners’ caravan.
Eight-year-old Squish was supposed to have been left behind when Jane and Paul Brown set off from home in Leeds for a week-long holiday.
But the day after they had crossed the Channel by ferry last month they were stunned to see her crawl out of a storage area as they ate their lunch.
The couple had to pay £500 to get her a rabies jab and a pet passport to ensure she could return to Britain legally. And Mr Brown had to stay on for an extra two weeks while the arrangements were being put in place.
Mrs Brown, a reverend at St Mary’s Church in Garforth, said: ‘Squish is a very nosy cat so she must have gone inside to take a look before Paul shut the door without realising. When she came out to say hello she looked very pleased with herself. She was obviously really hungry so we got her some food then rang our local vet for advice and went from there.’
The couple, both in their 50s, took a ferry from Hull to Zeebrugge in Belgium before driving to Autun in the south of France with stops at Lille, Reims and Troyes. Mrs Brown flew back after a week — and Mr Brown then feared a cat-astrophe as an intense heatwave engulfed the country.
‘He kept her cool with ice packs on top of and below her body and he also used a fan,’ said Mrs Brown. ‘During the day Squish just had to lie down. In the evening when things cooled down she was a bit more lively.’
Mr Brown and Squish finally headed back via Zeebrugge after a stay in Le Touquet — and had racked up about 1,500 miles in total by the time they got home. He said: ‘A three-week holiday was quite enough for Squish so we won’t take her away again. But we’re thinking of moving to France in a few years, so maybe she’ll get to go then.’