Lost Cat Was Living the Dream: 3 Years in a Pastry Factory


When a cat disappears, one logical conclusion is that a tragedy has occurred. Your beloved cat didn’t come home because it ate some rat poison, got hit by a car, or (as was most likely in my neighborhood as a child) got eaten by coyotes. The mind of a cat lover can invent the most torturous scenarios with little trouble at all. When I was a kid, I could sometimes hear neighborhood cats being taken by the local coyotes, so I even had a soundtrack to play in my head.

When Helen and Phillip Johns’ cat Woosie went missing in Cornwall, England, in 2011, we can only imagine how many of those scenarios they ran through their heads. It turns out that they need not have worried. Woosie, rather than suffering some horrific, agonizing death, was living the dream. He had taken up residence at a pastry factory about 30 miles away.

Nobody is quite sure how Woosie wound up at the Ginster pastry factory. Some have speculated that he hitched a ride on a delivery truck. But what they do know is that he turned up there shortly after his disappearance from the Johns’ house. The workers named him “George,” allowed him to roam the offices at will, and have been feeding him on Ginster meat pies and sandwich scraps ever since.

I have to admit, I’m struggling to decide whether this story has a happy ending. Certainly it’s happy for the Johns. They seem delighted to have Woosie back in their home.

“He came home on Tuesday evening, came straight into the house and just stretched out in the chair as if nothing had happened,” Helen Johns told the Daily Mail.

The one glitch so far is that the Johns household has another cat, Lola, who was only a baby when Woosie headed off to the pastry factory. Woosie occasionally hisses at Lola to remind her who’s in charge.

But nice as the Johns couple seems, it must be at least a little bit of a letdown for Woosie. For three years, he was surrounded by fresh bacon, chicken, and pork, and apparently he indulged quite freely.

“He’s a heavy cat now — he’s quite large,” Helen Johns said.

But there is a moral to this story, and it’s one that we push often, here and on our sister site Dogster: get a microchip put in your pet. Really. I realize that we say that a lot, but if you haven’t done it yet, take time to sit down in a lotus position and chant these three words as your mantra: Chip your pet. It was only because of the chip that the Johns could stop wondering where Woosie had gone. Recently, Woosie was brought in to the local vet, who scanned his chip and discovered who his original owners were.

“He went out one morning as cats do, and we never saw him again,” Johns said. “Then nearly three years on, we get a call from the vets saying we have got your cat here. I looked at our other cat Lola and told them they must be mistaken. Then it suddenly registered they must mean Woosie. I was so shocked.”

Woosie may not be getting unlimited access to chicken and bacon pies any more, but his original owners are very happy to have him back. The more people get their cats chipped as a matter of course, the more stories like this we get to write — let’s just hope they don’t all span three years.

Via The Daily Mail

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