In the quaint town of Charmouth, UK, a remarkable feline captured the hearts of locals and garnered international attention for an extraordinary daily routine. Meet Dodger, the adventurous cat who defied feline norms by confidently boarding a public bus every day, becoming a familiar sight among commuters several years ago.
The Surprising Discovery
The funny thing is, Dodger had a guardian who had no idea about his daily strolls. His guardian found out after Dodger had gone missing for a few hours, and a friend informed him that he saw Dodger getting on a bus. Eventually, Dodger returned in the evening, completing his 10-mile round trip.
Everyone Loved Dodger
Apparently, Dodger loved to sit on chairs previously used by people because they were warm, and he also enjoyed sitting on people's laps, where he would get cuddled and receive plenty of treats.
At 15 years old, Dodger was an older cat but remained very friendly. His guardian believed this habit began because he realized people would feed him at the bus station, and eventually, he gained the confidence he needed to board the bus.
The drivers embraced Dodger's adventurous spirit, ensuring that he got off at his own bus stop. Dodger's preferred bus was number fifty-three, and he liked to hang out at the bus station in Bridport, where he received treats from other passengers.
How do cats find their way back home?
Dodger's story is not the only one about cats making their way back home from far away. But how can this be possible?
Cats have remarkable abilities to find their way back home due to a combination of their keen senses, memory, and orientation skills. Here are some of the ways they accomplish this:
Memory of Familiar Routes: Cats have excellent spatial memory, allowing them to remember familiar routes and the layout of their territory. When they explore their surroundings, they create a mental map of key landmarks, scents, and visual cues that help them find their way back home.
Scent Marking: Cats have scent glands on their face, paws, and anal area, which they use to mark their territory with pheromones. These scent markings act as a "breadcrumb trail" that helps them recognize their path and find their way back home by following their own scent.
Sun Compass: Cats have a natural ability to use the position of the sun as a compass. They can determine the direction they need to go by observing the sun's position in the sky, which aids in their orientation when trying to return home.
Magnetic Field Sensitivity: Some studies suggest that cats, like other animals, may be sensitive to the Earth's magnetic field. This sensitivity could assist them in navigation, especially during long journeys away from home.
Exploration and Learning: Cats are curious creatures and tend to explore their environment extensively. Through exploration, they become familiar with the area around their home, making it easier for them to find their way back if they get lost.
Instincts: Cats have strong survival instincts, and finding their way back home is essential for their safety and well-being. Their natural instincts and ability to adapt to their surroundings play a significant role in their homing skills.
Use of Sound: Cats have an acute sense of hearing, which helps them listen for familiar sounds around their home. They can recognize the sounds of their guardians, other pets, or familiar neighborhood noises, guiding them in the right direction.
It's important to note that not all cats are equally skilled at finding their way back home, and some may become disoriented or lost, especially if they are in an unfamiliar environment or have been relocated far from their original home.
If a cat goes missing, it's crucial for their guardians to take appropriate steps to search for them, such as checking local shelters, putting up posters, and notifying neighbors, as well as considering the use of microchipping and identification tags to increase the chances of a safe return home.
Last but not least, wouldn't it be a wonderful world if all cats could live in such friendly towns? Unfortunately, this isn't the reality for stray cats. They face many hardships and difficult living conditions. Cat overpopulation is the primary cause of suffering for these stray cats.
Here at 600 Million Dogs, we are committed to stopping the overpopulation of cats and dogs and the suffering it causes. Our Spay and Neuter Cookie, once completed, will have the potential to provide a permanent solution to pet overpopulation, without the need for surgery.
Subscribe to our email list to stay updated on the development of the Spay and Neuter Cookie, and please contribute to our cause if you want to help us get to the finish line even faster!