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Sargeant Podge's daily routine

November 2007

SergeantPodge is a Norwegian Forest Cat who was adopted by Mrs Bullard about 10 years ago. He is about 12 years old now. For nine years Podge was like any other cat, turning up regularly for meals and otherwise getting on with his daily cat routines. But one day in April 2007, Podge went AWOL - absent without leave. Mrs Bullard and her family telephoned the RSPCA, prepared lost cat's leaflets and made door to door inquiries but Podge was nowhere to be found. To the family's relief, eventually, an elderly woman who lived about one and a half miles (2.4km) away called back to say she had found a cat matching Sgt Podge's description. On inspection the cat was indeed Sergeant Podge.

The cat was brought back home but few days later he disappeared again. Mrs Bullard rang the elderly woman and found that Sgt Podge was back outside her home. She duly went to collect him again. Thereafter Podge disappeared almost every day. To be found the next morning in exactly the same spot waiting for his owner. A routine has now been established whereby Mrs Bullard takes her son to school at around 8 am and after dropping her son off she then drives to collect Podge who always waits at the same spot and is happy to jump in to the car and be taken home for his breakfast. Unfortunately for Mrs Bullard these trips have to be done over the weekends as well. But, as she says herself, as long as she knows that the cat is there waiting for her, she does not mind the trips.

It is still unclear why, after 12 years, Sgt Podge has taken up route marches. Mrs Bullard recalls that another woman who lived nearby used to feed him sardines, and that he may be on the look-out for more treats. Back at home after his nightly exercises, after eating his breakfast Podge curls up next to the warm radiator, blissfully unaware of the havoc he causes every day.


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