UNITED KINGDOM – A cat who went missing just a year ago in Bristol has been miraculously reunited with its owners after melting the hearts of staff at a van showroom more than three miles away.
A worker at Van Monster so deeply fell in love with the cat named Lola that he even constructed a little house for her to live and sleep in at the back of their garage in Brislington.
However, when lovely Lola did eventually return home this week, she had something of a shock: She discovered that the family had dealt with their upset at her loss – by adopting a dog.
Lola’s astonishing story of mystery and survival, however, has a happy ending now – albeit tempered by ‘tolerating’ the newest addition to her family – and is giving fresh hope to all those scores of families who are still missing cats right across Bristol.
She went AWOL from her home in Fishponds way back at the start of October 2015, and no one knew what had become of her.
“We honestly thought one of the many local foxes had got her,” explained James Kelvin, who had to deal with the loss of his family’s beloved cat.
Nothing was seen or heard from Lola until around just three weeks ago when she started hanging around the back yard of Van Monster, which is a van sales garage just south of St Philip’s Causeway in Brislington.
Lola had somehow crossed the Feeder canal, the river Avon and numerous mainline railways, and was spotted by Van Monster worker Dan Hurley and his colleagues in the wooded area just behind their Whitby Road premises.
“We noticed the cat in the trees sleeping rough, and I gradually started looking after her. It started by giving it a bit of cream from the coffee machine and it was instantly friendly and more confident and was hanging around more,” he stated.
Dan absolutely fell in love with Lola, even though he didn’t know her name at the time, and decided she needed more support. He fed her and then came up with the creative idea that she needed some kind of shelter. “It was raining one day and I really felt for her,” he stated.
“One of the lads here was chucking out an old wardrobe so I convinced him we should fetch it down here and I turned it into a little home for her,” he went on to ay.
The cat home literally had everything a cat could need – a waterproof roof with a little overhang to stop the rain getting in, and it was lined inside with a mat, an old high-vis coat for warmth and a blanket. “I was feeding her four times a day – she was on tuna, Brekkies treats, and cat food. It was just a really nice cat, very friendly,” he stated.
However, with summer turning to winter, Dan also realized that even though his DIY cat palace was luxurious, and even though he loved this mystery stray with all his heart, it was no substitute for a proper home.
“With winter coming, I thought she needed a proper home,” he said. “So I put some pictures on Facebook asking if anyone was missing her, and this lovely volunteer lady came to pick her up to see if she was chipped,” he stated.
That lady just so happened to be a volunteer pet rescuer by the name of Kim Notton, who took her to the PDSA charity who found that Lola was chipped, and the call was made to the astonished Kelvin family back in Fishponds.
Back at home, despite the discovery of the presence of Ruby the brand new dog, Lola has settled back quickly.
She soon found her favorite spot curled up in a sports bag, and on the bed, and has been deeply concentrating on firing disdainful glances at Ruby.
“She’s acting like she’s never been away,” stated James, who thanked Dan for looking after her so well. “She wasn’t too keen on the dog we bought since she’d been missing, but seems to have got to the point of toleration already.”
Dan is now hoping for a reunion soon. “Of course I’ll miss her,” he stated. “For the last few weeks I would get into work a bit earlier to pop up and see if she was ok and give her some breakfast and a nice cuddle,” he concluded.