Lifestyle & Human Interest

After $7,500 Rescue Attempt, Cat ‘Stuck’ on Bridge for 6 Days Wanders Home on Its Own


Anyone who has owned a cat knows that the cuddly, self-absorbed animals can cause all sorts of mischief. Author Neil Gaiman encapsulated their adorable arrogance in his novel “Coraline,” in which the titular heroine asks a talking kitty to tell her his name.

Gaiman wrote, “The cat wrinkled its nose and managed to look unimpressed. ‘Calling cats,’ it confided, ‘tends to be a rather overrated activity. Might as well call a whirlwind.’”

Indeed, for one British cat, begging for her to return home seemed about that effective. According to the BBC, a kitty named Hatty sparked a ton of trouble when she got stuck on the Royal Albert Bridge.

The bridge connects Plymouth, Devon, and Saltash, Cornwall. In other words, it’s a pretty important thoroughfare.

Hatty’s owner, 39-year-old Kirsty Howden, contacted authorities when she realized what had happened to her beloved pet, which had been missing for two weeks before turning up on the bridge. I’m sure that authorities didn’t think much about rescuing the wayward kitty, at least not at first.

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After all, doesn’t the fire department save cats all the time? Perhaps, but Hatty proved a decidedly defiant feline.

The Plymouth Herald reported that the fire fighters couldn’t get to Hatty. In fact, they spent five hours attempting to woo her down.

They weren’t the only ones. Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals inspectors visited multiple times and attempted to rescue the stubborn cat twice.

Authorities also had a plan in place to shut down the train lines. Rescuers surmised that a passing train had initially scared Hatty up into an isolated perch from which she couldn’t descend.

Or perhaps I should say from which they thought she couldn’t descend. Because after six days on the bridge, Hatty decided it was time to head home.

She walked past rescue crews and television cameras as though nothing was amiss. Then she padded straight to Howden’s home and began to mew.

“I was sat responding to comments, heard a meow outside, had a look through the window, and there she was!” Howden said. “She is a bit skinny and smelly, very vocal and has now headed upstairs and put herself to bed.”

Howden profusely thanked everyone who had come to her cat’s aid.

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“I’d also like to thank the people who have followed Hatty’s story and the community in Saltash for rallying around, especially the ones who tried so hard to help get Hatty home,” she said.

She also promised that this wouldn’t become a problem again. Why? Well, Hatty is going to become a house cat — whether she likes it or not.

“She is going to stay inside,” Howden told The Plymouth Herald. “We haven’t broken it to her yet, but yes, we’re going to try and make her a house-cat for a bit, because I don’t want anymore adventures on the bridges.”

I’m sure the city is grateful. Fox News reported that the rescue attempt cost roughly $7,500.

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
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