Bored with Conditions at Home, Carlsberg Stows Away on a Beer Lorry for the Adventure of a Lifetime
"It was such a shock. I don't know how he survived, but he seems prouder than ever."
-- Jennie Harris
"It's a dangerous business, going out of your door. You step into the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to," J. R. R. Tolkien once cautioned. Apparently no one ever warned Carlsberg about either hanging out at pubs of hitchhiking rides on beer lorries.
Workers at the The Swan in Ironbridge, Shropshire therefore received quite a pleasant surprise on October 31st when their weekly delivery of Carlsberg also included a black and white cat. The moggy had wedged himself underneath the back doors and was resting on the frame between the two wheels.
Twenty-six-year-old pub employee Catherine Redgrave was, however, able to lure him out of hiding and to safety with the offer of some bacon and milk. Despite his name, Carlsberg apparently is not a drinker. (See photo above of her and Carlsberg.)
Redgrave then took the cat to a veterinarian in order to have him scanned for an implanted microchip but none was located. She therefore decided to adopt him.
"When we still had no idea where he belonged at the end of the day I took him home and he has been with me ever since," she told the BBC on November 3rd. (See "Cat Found in Pub's Lager Delivery.") "He is more than welcome to stay with me, but it would be nice to see him back with his real owners where be belongs."
Carlsberg's impromptu arrival also brightened up the day for everybody associated with the eighteenth-century inn and pub. (See photo below.) "He's ever so nice. It was definitely the highlight of our day at work," Redgrave elaborated for the Shropshire Star on November 2nd. (See "Luckiest Cat in the World -- Probably.")
Both Redgrave and her two-year-old son, Joshua, immediately became strongly attached to Carlsberg, but it was not a relationship that was destined to endure. Thanks to the publication of the above photograph in the Shropshire Star, Carlsberg's previous owner came forward a few days later and reclaimed her cat.
Jennie Harris of nearby Broseley, who just happens to live next door to a pub herself, theorizes that the cat she calls Spot must have wandered over to the bar and climbed aboard the beer lorry. "He has always been adventurous and has probably used up quite a few of his nine lives," she told the Shropshire Star on November 5th. (See "Pub Cat Reunited with Owner.")
Although Spot has a history of climbing out of windows and exploring beneath the floorboards, this is the first time that he has gone AWOL. "It was such a shock," Harris explained to the Shropshire Star. "I don't know how he survived, but he seems prouder than ever."
If Spot has gotten a taste for life on the road this could very well just be the beginning of many adventures for him. This is especially true if he has acquired a taste for bacon and milk and likes being the center of attention.
As for Redgrave and her heartbroken young son, they are now in the market for a full-time resident feline of their own.
Photos: Ed Bagnall of the Shropshire Star (Redgrave and Carlsberg) and Ironbridge-Gorge Pub Guide (The Swan).