Wednesday, January 20, 2010

SENSELESS LOSS: British Bus-Riding Cat Killed by Hit and Run Driver

No one and nothing - ever - will convince me that cats NEED to 'be free' outside - NOTHING. When you voluntarily open your door to allow your cat to explore the outdoors you are playing with fire. The loser in all of this is the animal and the animal pays the price with its life. Everyone thought what Casper did each day was just so cute. Well, he can't do it anymore because he's dead. People are sending condolences to his owner. They contributed to Casper's death, no sympathy from me. Rest in peace Casper. You won't get hit by a car again. ~Mimi

Casper, the British cat who made headlines around the world for regularly waiting in line and hopping on the local bus, was killed by a hit and run driver in his hometown of Plymouth, England, has learned.

Karen Baxter, a public-relations manager for First UK Bus, who operates local buses in the Plymouth area, confirmed that the cat was run over by a motorist outside his home on Jan. 14 and died from his injuries.

The cat's owner, Susan Finden, is devastated, The Herald newspaper reported. "I never dreamt I'd miss an animal as much as I miss him. He was lovely and loved people so much -- he was such a different character," she said.

Finden found out about the cat's death when a neighbor knocked on her door to tell her she had seen a car strike the cat and then drive off. She took the cat inside after the accident, but sadly he was already dead, the newspaper said.

"If he'd been ill we might have prepared for it but it hasn't helped us that the driver didn't stop -- we couldn't believe it," Finden said.

The geriatric feline, who was 12 years old last July when reported his story, would habitually leave Finden's home, trot across the street to the bus stop, wait his turn in line and board the bus. He even had a favorite seat -- in the middle of the aisle -- where he would sit until he was ready to get off.

"He just gets on and off as he wants to. Goes for a little ride," Baxter told in July. "If the drivers notice that he's there, they make sure that he doesn't get off at some random stop. The cat seems to know where to get back off, then he trots off home."

Casper, whose story was first reported by BBC News, was rescued by Finden from the Cat Protection League about four years ago. Finden noticed that Casper would occasionally disappear and eventually return home. She had even gotten a call from a parking garage a mile-and-a-half away but didn't know how he'd gotten there.

"The driver told me he gets on all the time," Finden told The Herald. "I couldn't believe it."

The cat's unusual hobby prompted Finden to write a letter to the First Bus Company, to bring attention to the furry passenger. "[Finden wanted] drivers just be aware of it so if they either saw the cat coming that they'd not let it on the bus, or once it was on the bus, not to kick it off in the city center because it would be miles away from home," Baxter said.

Casper was like any other senior citizen who uses public transportation in England. "In the U.K., people over the age of 65 travel on the bus for free," Baxter told "So we worked out that the cat was about 111 years old in cat years, therefore it was fine. He can travel for free."


Anonymous said...

That is SO sad. Poor Casper. Our cats are strictly indoors and we live on a bus road and I don't need them darting off. Plus, when they do go out (on the front deck only) I am right there!

The Creek Cats said...

We were so sad to hear about Casper's passing.

Kas said...

Yeah my cats are both inside cats and some people say I am a bit cruel. Then I remind them of what could happen to a cat and how all the birds are safer. I lost a cat on the road many many years ago.

Brian said...

I just hate that, stupid human, hiss!

Amy and The House of Cats said...

This kind of thing is exactly why my cats are indoor only. I am sad for Casper - he didn't deserve this at all.

Daisy said...

Rest in peace, Casper.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

mewmies sentiments exactly. Because of people's ignorance, this kitty paid with it's life. Cats do not have to go outdoors to be happy and fulfilled!

Dennis the Vizsla said...

Trouble the 19-year-old indoor kitty would like to register her objection to this kitty's being described as "geriatric".

Poor kitty.

Anonymous said...

What a sweet story about the cat on the bus, but so sad to hear that he had to die that way....!

meowmeowmans said...

That's such a tragic story. Poor Casper.

Our kitties are strictly indoors ... we want them to live long, healthy lives, and they've got a better chance of doing so living their lives inside the safety of our home.

Shaggy, Scooby and Scout said...

I totally agree with you!
I got so angry too when I saw the item in the news. Totally senseless. Riding that bus he could have been easy prey for some weirdo to grab him too.

MoMo said...

Our whole family is devastated by the news. Poor Casper. RIP.

Puddin said...

This is very very sad. I think I agree with you Mimi. Definately don't let your kitty go traipsing all over the city like this. poor Casper. :(


Everycat said...

RIP poor Casper, I'm sorry he was hit by a car. He was a tremendous character. Althought when I first read of his exploits I feared he would encounter a cruel human who would harm him on the bus.

I'm also sorry to see so many people calling Casper's owner an idiot and other things. Cat owning culture in the UK is one where cats are allowed indoors and outdoors. We don't have rabies or the predators that you do in the states. All of our cats have a full set of claws too, because declawing is thankfully illegal here. So if a cat does go out, it does have a chance to defend itself, admittedly claws won't protect agains a hit by a car.

Here, it's up to individual owners to assess the risks of allowing cats to free roam. The RSPCA recommend that cats should be kept indoors at night without exception as most feline RTAs happen at night. We believe that cats do require some outdoor time and fresh air.

Sadly, some cats do meet their end on the roads. It's very sad, and owners should provide safe enclosed gardens for their cats to get some natural exercise and stimulation where there is a risk of cats getting onto roads.

...just sayin'

Whicky Wuudler

Everycat said...

PS: As for longer lives lived indoors - well, all of our cats have been allowed indoors and outdoors and kept in at night. The eldest was Teddy who lived until just before he was 21 (cancer), rently departed Angel was 19.5 (kidney failure) - Thomas and Patti 17 and 17.5 (cancer) and Muzz (the feral mother of Angel, Leo, Patti and Thomas) TNR'd by us and cared for by us - she lived until she was nearly 16 yrs old - she was wild for all of her life and free roamed, with our garden as her safe core area. So, with care, at least in the UK, cats can live well, safe and long happy lives with outdoor access.

...just sayin'

Whicky Wuudler