the Bus-Loving Cat
Casper, which is 12 years old, boards the No3 service at 10.55am from
outside his home in Plymouth, Devon, and travels the entire 11-mile route
before returning home about an hour later.
On the route, the cat passes an historic dockyard and naval base, a city
centre, several suburbs and the city's red light district.
He has been making the journey for so long that all First Bus drivers
have now been told to look out for him to ensure he gets off at the right
Susan Finden (corr), 65, a care worker who is Casper's owner, said: "Casper
has always disappeared for hours at a time but I never understood where
he was going.
"I called him Casper because he had a habit of vanishing like a ghost. But
then some of the drivers told me he had been catching the bus.
"I couldn't believe it at first, but it explains a lot. He loves people
and we have a bus stop right outside our house so that must be how he got started
- just following everyone on.
"I used to catch the odd bus too so maybe he saw me and got curious what
I was doing.
"Casper is quite quick for his age so he just hops on to the bus before
the doors close. He catches the 10.55am service and likes to sit on the back
Rob Stonehouse (corr), one of the drivers on the route, said: "He
usually just curls up at the back of the bus. Sometimes he nips between
people's legs but he never causes any trouble."
Casper has travelled an estimated 20,000 miles but Mrs Finden says because
he is getting old the drivers often have to shuffle him off at the right
A spokeswoman for First Bus said the firm has put a notice up in the
office asking them to look after the non-paying passenger.
Addendum: Casper was struck and killed by a hit-and-run motorist while
crossing the road to board his favorite bus in January of 2010. We salute
this amazing feline and the cheer he brought to us all.