A Dromore family were delighted to be reunited with their beloved pet cat, three days after it decided to take itself off on a 10-mile trip up the road to Lisburn.
Owner Lisa Lavery explained how eight-month-old Stella went missing last Friday, January 20, and was found a couple of days later wandering around Lisburn bus depot.
The mum-of-three, who lives opposite Dromore Rugby Club, said there were matches on at the club on Friday and Saturday and believes her curious cat must have climbed aboard a team bus or somehow got into someone’s car to make the journey up the A1.
“There were matches on and the place was a hive of activity, so unless she managed to get into someone’s car or a bus, I can’t think of any other way she could have made it to Lisburn,” Lisa said.
“The only logical explanation for her making it the whole way to Lisburn and ending up in the bus depot is that she managed to jump into the luggage compartment of a bus.
“She wasn’t injured, except for a few bumps and scratches, so there’s no way she made it down the dual carriageway herself.”
Just as the family were getting worried about what might have happened to Stella, they got a call to say that she had been found - in Lisburn.
Thanks to kind-hearted Translink worker William Moffett and eagle-eyed Jasmine Phillips, an employee at Barry’s Vets in Dromore, Lisa and her family got their beloved pet back safe and well on Monday, January 23.
“William had posted a picture of Stella on the Lisburn Buy and Sell Facebook page asking if anyone knew who owned her,” Lisa explained.
“Jasmine was on the page looking for something else and sent the post to Barry (McNulty) and said ‘Do you not think this looks like Stella?’. Then they called me and I messaged William Moffett and sent my daddy down to the bus station to check it out and thankfully we were all reunited.”
Lisa says she and her three children - Katie (14), Jamie (8) and Ben (4) - are absolutely delighted to have Stella home safe.
Stella’s trip to Lisburn was the second time in as many weeks that she’d taken herself off for a long weekend.
On the first occasion she ended up staying with a family who live on the edge of Dromore.
After a couple of days they realised that someone would be missing her and took her to Barry’s Vets to ensure she made it back to her rightful owners.
Describing Stella’s behaviour as “highly unusual”, Lisa added: “I suppose we’ll never really know what happened or how she got to Lisburn, but we can assume she’s taken to travelling and enjoys long weekends away!”
Asked if Stella’s planning any more adventures, she joked: “No, that’s it. She’s staying in the house now. She’s grounded!”