An adventurous young cat hitched a ride in the back of a supermarket delivery van – much to the dismay of her worried owner.
Smudge the black-and-white domestic short hair took a 30-to-40-mile round trip around Lancashire after she sneaked aboard a Sainsbury’s delivery truck from its base at Talbot Road, Blackpool, on Monday.
She was discovered by the baffled driver at around 10.30pm and was taken to the Blackpool Nine Lives cat shelter on Lytham Road, where she was later reunited with her relieved owner Ash Lockenby, 26, thanks to pictures circulated on social media.
Dad-of-three Ash, who lives on Grafton Street, said: “She’s been known to disappear for a couple of days, but she always comes back when she’s hungry.
“I let her out on Sunday afternoon and I was expecting her Monday morning, and when Tuesday morning came I started to get worried.
“I had been looking for her everywhere and then straight away when I searched for missing cats on Facebook she was there; it’s like a miracle. Had it not been for social media I don’t think we would have seen her again.”
In a strange twist of fate, the back of a van was where Ash first met Smudge, after she took refuge from the cold in the back of his van while he delivered newspapers.
He said: “One morning she jumped into my car and wouldn’t budge and I couldn’t leave a little, starving kitten out in the cold so I took her home and she’s become an integral part of our family.
“I’m just glad to have her back. You don’t worry about a cat for the first few days, but she’s given us all a bit of a fright.
“The children will be ecstatic. My oldest daughter has been asking every day where she is.”