Ziggy's Journey

Published January 2007

A skinny white cat surprised workers in a warehouse in Whitworth in Lancashire, England when he emerged from a sealed container that had been shipped from Haifa, Israel on October 31... a full 17 days earlier.

The cat's journey began in Afula, Israel when he apparently wandered into a consignment of plastic goods which was then sealed on October 31 and shipped to Britain - a 2300 mile trip!

"When the container was finally opened, staff unloading it got a real surprise when this fluffy white cat shot out," said Colin Barton, the local authority's animal health officer who helped capture the cat.

The workers immediately dubbed the adventurous feline, Ziggy, after Ziggy Stardust, the character played by David Bowie in the 1970s. Like the rock star, the cat has one green and one blue eye.

Although the cat was exhausted, starving and dehydrated after his epic journey, he still resisted capture for five hours.

"I think he was scared to death," said James Ratcliff, of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). "He'd traveled all that way and got to a strange country and ran for his life. I think he had probably used up some of his nine lives."

Nothing is known of Ziggy's background or owners as he had no collar or microchip, but the RSCPA believes he is must have been someone's pet because he is so friendly. Ziggy will now stay in quarantine in Britain for six months as a precaution against rabies after which he will be up for adoption in his new country.

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