Lucky Fylde coast cat survives 45 mile trip clinging to car exhaust

Olaf reunited with owner Anne-Marie Hankins. Picture by Laura Mayren
Olaf reunited with owner Anne-Marie Hankins. Picture by Laura Mayren
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A lucky cat nearly lost all of its nine lives when it was found clinging to a car’s exhaust pipe – 45 miles from his Fylde coast home.

Olaf, the 20-week-old white cat, was found covered in mud and terrified underneath a Land Rover in Merseyside after hitching a ride from his comfy Southdown Drive abode in Little Thornton.

He must have curled up on the exhaust and clung there

His owner Anne-Marie Hankins, 28, said: “I put him out on the Saturday morning when I went out. I had put him out on his own before and I was only gone for about three hours, but when I came back I couldn’t find him. My friends said, ‘don’t worry, he’s probably smelled a cat on heat and gone wandering’, and I kept going outside and shaking the biscuit tin – but there was no sign of him, not a trace.”

The full-time mum-of-one was reunited with her beloved pet on Monday after she was contacted by her local vet, who told her Olaf had been found more than an hour’s drive away in Rainhill, near St Helens.

He was rescued by Harvey’s Army volunteer Paul Flynn, from Liverpool, who rushed to his aid after he was contacted by a young couple who noticed the tiny cat clinging to the bottom of a car on their street.

He said: “It was completely grey from all the dust underneath the car. When I first saw it I thought – is it grey or is it white? When I was told he was found clinging to the bottom of a car, that’s when it dawned on me what must have happened.

“It’s quite amazing. I just thought it was a local cat from a couple of doors down and never imagined it could be from Blackpool.

“We can only assume it has clung onto the bottom of the car all the way here.

“He’s had a very lucky escape. He’s probably lost all of his nine lives!”

Mr Flynn carried out a microchip scan which named Anne-Marie as Olaf’s rightful owner. He contacted Lanes Vets in Garstang, who alerted Anne-Marie to the whereabouts of her pet, and Olaf was brought home.

Anne-Marie said: “I was shocked, absolutely shocked to think he could get that far and nothing had happened to him.

“He must have curled up on the exhaust and clung there all the way – it’s the only explanation I can think of. How he managed to get all that way without falling off I don’t know. It’s just amazing.

“He’s a bit more clingy now but looking at him you wouldn’t know what he had gone through. He was pouncing all over me.

“I’m just glad to have him back. I had been considering letting him go because he has been destroying my wallpaper, but now I know I can’t get rid of him – I would miss him too much!”