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Stowaway cat makes unexpected coach trip

A search was under way today for the owners of a stowaway cat who travelled 140 miles lodged under the bonnet of a holiday coach.

The two-year-old animal, nicknamed Puss 'n Boot by RSPCA inspectors, was looking for a warm place to sleep when he came across the coach outside the President Hotel in Blackpool.

But as the cat settled down for a nap, the 52-seater coach, packed with holidaymakers, was about to make the three-hour return trip to Nottingham.

Today, the RSPCA said Puss 'n Boot had made a fantastic recovery at a vet's in Nottingham after he was found in the coach's engine compartment some 12 hours after it left Blackpool.

The black-and-white cat was badly dehydrated and had caught his leg under his collar, leaving him with a nasty gash.

But after a week's treatment, RSPCA inspectors are hoping his owners will come forward and claim their pet.

RSPCA inspector Chris Shaw said: "He's a friendly little cat and he has obviously come from a loving home and we are trying now to find his owners in Blackpool.

"He has singed his eyebrows during the trip and it is obviously not the best way to travel. But he could have easily fallen out of the engine so he is one lucky cat really.

"With Christmas around the corner, he wants to be spending it with his family and it would be nice if we could get him back home in time."

The cat was discovered by mechanic Trevor Cox as he went to service the coach after it returned to the depot.

The 49-year-old, who works for Skills Holidays in Nottingham, said: "It must have stowed away in Blackpool because the engine is very warm. When I found it I gave it some fuss and then we called the vet out. We have been to see him since and he is doing very well."

The holiday company, which runs cut-price holidays from its depot in Nottingham, had planned to adopt the cat if no-one came forward to claim him.

Nicole Scrivener, 21, who works on the firm's product team, said: "We have had marriage proposals, wedding anniversaries and everything else but we have never had a runaway cat before so it was quite a shock.

"We asked our managing director to adopt the cat but after talking to the RSPCA we decided it was perhaps not such a good idea as he seems to prefer engines to seats."