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Westward Ho! cat discovered 100 miles away on coach fuel tank

10:01 06 March 2014

Diesel the cat with RSPCA Animal Collections Officer Julie Parsons.

Diesel the cat with RSPCA Animal Collections Officer Julie Parsons.


RSPCA officers are trying to locate the owner of the stowaway cat, nicknamed Diesel by coach staff who discovered it.

THE RSPCA is trying to find the owner of a cat which curled up for a nap under a National Express coach in Westward Ho! and ended up 100 miles away.

The stowaway used up one of his nine lives after enduring a four-hour ride across the South West to Grimbsy.

It is believed the cat curled up on the warm fuel tank to sleep when the vehicle was parked up overnight before it left at 8.45am.

The cat was discovered by coach driver Andy Muskett as he unloaded customers’ luggage at Bristol Coach Station that afternoon.

On hearing miaowing Andy called National Express to investigate while he loaded the passengers on to another coach to continue to journey to Grimsby.

Engineer Andy Teagle crawled under the coach and found the animal cowering on the fuel tank.

After several minutes of persuasion, the travelling tabby was coaxed down from his perch and was taken back to the depot and given some food.

The cat, which had no microchip or collar, has been named Diesel by staff.

Andy said: “I heard a strange noise that was definitely not mechanical and realised that as only one thing ‘meows’ we probably had ‘a cat incident’. It was still a bit of a shock to find a silver tabby cat sitting on the fuel tank. When we got him down he was actually pretty contented.

“He must have been looking for somewhere warm to sleep and crawled under the coach when it was parked up overnight, and was probably too frightened to move when it started in the morning.”

RSPCA staff who are now looking after Diesel at a rescue centre in Bristol are now on the hunt to find his owners and are appealing in the Barnstaple area.

RSPCA animal collections officer Julie Parsons said: “We are delighted staff at National Express were able to get Diesel out from such a tricky location.

“We think Diesel may have got into the engine as it was a warm place to sleep. When we checked him over we realised he is suffering from some burns and he is currently on antibiotics. Fortunately he is now recovering well at one of our clinics in Bristol.

“Although he is skinny, he is very friendly so we think he has an owner who is probably missing him. If anyone knows any information about Diesel we would urge them to call us on 0300 123 8018.”

Richard Ball, National Express head of engineering, said: “We’ve had to deal with some unusual incidents in the past, but extracting a cat from on top of a fuel tank tops it off.

“Diesel must have used several of his nine lives, and we are just glad he survived his ordeal.”

The RSPCA is now trying locate Diesel’s owners in Barnstaple and have put out a missing notice to all of the local vets offices.

Is Diesel your cat? Contact reporter Sarah Howells on 01271 341658 or email


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