Question Mark Icon
  • Home
  • Community
  • Volunteer blog: Loki the cat’s incredible London journey
    • Community
    • 05 Mar, 2019

    Volunteer blog: Loki the cat’s incredible London journey

    This blog was written by cattery volunteer, Jody Thompson.

    When I was a kid, I loved old Disney films. One I particularly adored was ‘The Incredible Journey’, a 1963 movie based on the novel of the same name, which tells the tale of a Labrador Retriever, Bull Terrier and Siamese cat, who embark on an epic trek across the wilds of Canada to get back home.

    Little did I know that when I was a grown-up, a cat in my life would undertake an incredible journey of his own – one more impressive than anything fictional I’d seen on screen.

    Let me tell you the story.

    Three years ago, I was living happily in Kilburn, north west London, with my two cats, 14-year-old brother and sister Darcy and Eartha, who I’d had since kittens. I was certainly not planning on interrupting their retirement by getting another cat.

    But towards the end of May 2015, a rather raggedy, massively fluffy tabby broke in through the magnetic cat flap and announced his presence in my flat with loud miaows. For days, I kept putting him back outside, only for him to break back in again. If I blocked the cat flap, he’d sit on the roof of my shed all night, howling to be let in.

    I spent hours ringing round all the animal rescue homes and vets and searching online to see if he’d been reported missing and whether someone could take him, as I really didn’t want a third.

    lokis incredible journey forest cat

    Everyone said they’d not heard of any cats of his description and they couldn’t take him in as there was nothing terribly physically wrong with him. So I started feeding The Interloper outside, satisfied he was a stray in desperate need of some TLC (I’d never feed a cat belonging to someone else). However, he didn’t want to be outside and kept breaking in, and soon made himself at home. Despite relations between my two and The Interloper being better than I thought they’d be (Darcy had always been a scrapper and Eartha was beyond nervous) it was clear they weren’t happy having a new flatmate – and Darcy had a serious illness called triaditis made worse with stress. I really couldn’t keep this puss permanently.

    So I whisked The Interloper to my vet, who said he was around two years old, unchipped, very underweight, hadn’t been neutered and was riddled with worms and fleas. He reckoned someone had moved house and abandoned him, poor thing. I left him there to get the snip, his jabs and all his other issues sorted – and he was good as gold. Once he was home with a clean bill of health (I spent a fortune on Feliway to maintain the peace while I kept all the cats in as he got over his op), it was time to rehome him.

    I decided to call him Loki after the Norse god of mischief, as he had Norwegian Forest Cat features and was so naughty.

    After putting him up on Facebook and asking if any of my cat-loving friends fancied rehoming him, my lovely friends Hannah and David leapt at the chance. After one last cuddle (so I thought) in July, Hannah, David and their two kids came to collect Loki and take him to his forever home in Brixton.

    All seemed well for a while. I was sent regular photos and updates like: “Loki is settling in brilliantly. This morning we had him and the kids on our bed for a group cuddle. He’s eating and drinking well and has been to the vets for his last jabs and to get chipped. At night he curls on the sofa between David and I and the kids adore him. Monty (other cat) and he rubbed noses last night and seem to be making friends. x” which made my heart swell.

    However, after a few weeks, a friend stayed over one weekend and unsettled Loki. He’d sprayed all over the apparently unwelcome visitor’s clothes, then ran off. After a poster campaign, ringing round all the local cat sanctuaries and vets and three weeks of searching, a tearful Hannah told me he’d vanished for good.

    lokis incredible journey forest cat

    A few days after that, while I was cooking dinner, something rather unbelievable happened. I suddenly heard miaowing at my open kitchen window – it was Loki.

    He’d taken just over three weeks to travel from Brixton to Kilburn. An eight mile or so journey navigating south to north through one of the world’s busiest and most densely populated cities – which meant somehow, he’d also crossed the Thames (did he cross a bridge? Jump on a bus?).

    I was gobsmacked. I dashed from the kitchen, opened the backdoor and gave him a massive cuddle.

    Loki the Cat

    Loki the cat in Jody’s home

    He was thin, but otherwise well so I gave him a big bowl of tuna, his favourite.

    But how on earth had Loki got back to me? What route had he taken across the metropolis? How had he avoided the hundreds of hazards along the way? Did he steer by the stars or some weird sort of catnav? Are scientists onto something with the theory cats may have a magnetic inner compass? Loki had no visual clues or scent marks to go by, as he’d been taken from my flat to Brixton in the back of a car.

    To say Hannah was incredulous when I rang her to say Loki was happily back at mine is an understatement. Before long, she and David had come to pick him up and take him back, and he’s been happily living at their home in Brixton ever since.

    I guess we’ll never know the whole story of Loki and his London adventure. But what an incredible real life journey…

    jody thompson cattery volunteer at mayhew

    Jody with her cats Norma Jeane and Arthur

    Make a Quick Donation

    Latest News