Monday 21 August 2017

Beach cat takes taxi to the city

Umtiti the cat
Umtiti the cat

Carmel Butler

We first saw him on the beach in Connemara on a rare sunny and hot day in July last year .

He was being petted by a group of children, and as we passed they asked if he was our cat as he had just arrived on the beach.

He clearly liked human contact and so must have been someone's cat but we left him for the day and went to our favourite cove around the headland for a day of swimming, reading and general seaside pottering.

We had the pan and a cooker with us and had lamb chops, keeping the scraps in case we met the cat again. Back at the car we saw him coming out from an elderly lady's house and heading towards us, tail up. We gave him the scraps which he clearly enjoyed and went about loading up the car with our beach stuff.

The journey back to Galway took about an hour and a half and I dropped Simon off at his house before getting to mine five minutes around the corner. I parked and opened my front door before starting to unpack the car but I was not alone.

Umtiti (as he was to be named) ran out from under the car and trotted into my house. I could not believe my eyes - he must have found somewhere underneath the car to stowaway and stayed there for the whole journey back to the city. I called Simon in my shock and part excitement and he came over to see I was not making it up!

We fed him and kept him in for the night before taking him back out to the coast where we had found him, expecting him to be the lady's cat but it turned out that neither she nor anyone else in the area had ever seen him before as we went house to house, expecting to re-unite him with an anxious owner. It seems I was to have a new lodger...

He immediately proved his worth by pouncing on and killing a rat in my back yard and no rodent has dared set foot since!

He got into a few scrapes at first before settling down and has the run of both my neighbours' houses too - he just loves human company.

You can't choose your family but it seems cats can choose theirs.

Name: Umtiti

Finest hour: Role as the Verminator

Likes: Sleeping at the foot of my bed

Dislikes: Being alone

- If you would like your pet featured in this column please send a story of 440 words and a photograph to snews@independent.ie clearly labelled MY PET

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