Follow-up: Rescued Freeway Kitten Was Miles From Home


Last week I told you about Freeway, a kitten who was rescued from Ireland’s busiest motorway with the help of a Dublin SPCA officer, the Garda, and thousands of Irish commuters who were willing to slow down and give the little guy a chance to stay alive until he could be safely removed from his perilous position.

Although I mentioned that the cat was reunited with his owners, I’ve found some more details that make this happy ending even happier.

The Irish Times reports that the kitten ended up on the M50 after a much longer journey than anyone thought.

I can only imagine that the nation’s population was saying a collective “Awwwwww” as they saw the video of the rescue and the sweet black-and-white kitten recuperating at a Dublin SPCA shelter in Rathfarnham, cradled in the arms of the woman who rescued him.

Meanwhile, in Kilmainham — a suburb about eight miles from the rescue site — Conor Clancy had almost given up on his search for Chester, a black-and-white cat he adopted just a few weeks ago from a litter of kittens born in a nearby shed.

Chester had disappeared on Tuesday, and although Clancy had searched the area and asked neighbors if they’d seen the little guy, nobody had any good news to share.

Clancy’s partner and son were on vacation in New Zealand at the time of Chester’s disappearance, and he didn’t want to ruin their holiday by sharing the bad news. But they were due to return Thursday evening, and he knew he’d have to tell them that their beloved Chester was missing and presumed dead.

But then Clancy happened to catch the story about the M50 rescue. As soon as he saw the cat he knew it was Chester, and he quickly called the DSPCA to claim his furry friend.

So how did poor Chester, a tiny 4-month-old kitten, get from Kilmainham to Dundrum? Orla Aungier of the DSPCA suspects that he crawled into the engine compartment of a car, perhaps in search of warmth, and was able to jump out when the vehicle slowed down. This happens quite a lot, but — in the classically understated tone of the Celts — Aungier said, “unfortunately in many cases the outcome isn’t as good.”

Chester was microchipped before leaving the DSPCA’s care — just in case his “itchy paws” set him to wandering off again in the future.

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