Tia was thrilled to be back home with Oban, Scotland her family after traveling 100 miles and crossing a sea as a stowaway.
The calico cat was hanging around outside of her house when she decided she was ready for an adventure. So, she hopped into the back of Openreach engineer Doug Craig’s van to see where it would take her.
Craig had the door open because he was loading it up to head out and fix a broadband connection at a fire house on the island of Coll.
He had no idea that the calico cat was hiding in his van until hours later when he found her in the back of his truck.
Tia had been in the van for a three-hour ferry ride to Arinagour in the Inner Hebrides.
Craig became suspicious when he saw white hairs all over his tool bag and spooked when he saw two big green eyes flashing at him in his van.
“At first I thought a Coll cat had sneaked in, but then I got a closer look and recognized her from home,” the 31-year-old told BBC. “I thought ‘Oh no, I’ve cat-napped my neighbours’ pet’! I’ve heard of other curious cats climbing into colleagues’ vans on occasion – but I’ve never heard of one that went to sea on a 100-mile round trip.”
Craig reached out to his mother in Oban and asked her to let his neighbors know their cat was safe. He immediately went to get Tia some food in case she was hungry.
She got both tuna and cat treats from the local store before it closed for the afternoon.
Tia got to sleep in the back of the van while Craig pitched a tent for the night before they took the next ferry back in the morning.
Tia’s family didn’t even realize she was gone until Craig’s mom knocked on their door. They were very thankful that Craig took such good care of her.
Tia the adventurer
“We’re beyond grateful to Doug for taking such good care of her – as I was trying to fathom how we would manage a trip to Coll to bring her home,” Tia’s mom Elyse Hamilton said.
Apparently, Tia is quite the explorer. This wasn’t her first wild adventure away from home.
“She’s snuck off for wee excursions in other cars before – and even gone to work with Martin – but taking a holiday to Coll is wildly adventurous, even for her!” Hamilton said. “We’re hoping she’s had quite enough adventures for a while, although she seems to have really warmed up to Doug, and we could see her trying it again to get spoiled!”