Cat routinely spends 6 weeks away from home and takes train

Jasper on the metro train

Is this good? It makes a good online cat story. It’s fun. Internet surfers like cats that take trains and buses. Cats on public transport, behaving like people, make excellent photos. I like them too but…I question whether this is sensible. Personally, I have to state that it is not sensible because I would never let my cat wander around for 6 weeks at a time knowing that he rides on trains and buses.

Surely there is a sharply heightened risk of a cat being hurt or killed who is engaged in these activities. I wouldn’t be able to sleep properly knowing that my cat was somewhere – who knows where – out there. I don’t believe that I am exceptional.

I am writing about Jasper, a orange tabby and white domestic short haired cat living in South Shields, England.

His caretaker, Steph Keenan 42, admits that it is dangerous:

“He has wandered far and wide and has few of his nine lives remaining.”

I am sorry but is Steph doing a decent job in her role of guardian to her cat? Steph jokes about it:

“I am considering buying him an annual ticket for the Metro so that he avoids fines, prosecution or being in trouble for trespassing.”

There is a funny side that I like and find amusing. However, for me, my primary emotion is concern for Jasper’s life.

“He likes to go on the Metro platform…..Jasper is a familiar sight on the platform at North Shields Metro Station where he rides the Metro.”

It seems that commuters on the platform are more concerned about Jasper’s welfare than Steph. They apparently pick him up and take him to the vet or a shelter. Then Steph has to get him back – reclaim him. She finds this a bit irritating.

Message to Steph: Don’t take this the wrong way. Please be a bit more concerned about Jasper’s health and welfare. He obviously likes to roam but he needs to be supervised more closely. Find a way to do that. I’ll admit that it is not easy but it can be done. What about a leash or an enclosure (if you have a garden and you probably have)? I know this is troublesome but each cat owner has a responsibility for their cat’s welfare.

A cat caretaker’s first responsibility is the safety of her cat.

Original story.

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Cat routinely spends 6 weeks away from home and takes train — 25 Comments

  1. This cat spends 6 weeks just riding trains?
    What prevents him from getting off in some unknown area?
    This is insane!

  2. One day Jasper will go missing for good or have an accident, it’s just waiting to happen. I’d be out of my mind with worry if one of our boyz went off for 6 hours, never mind 6 weeks.

    • You’re right, he has been lucky. It will run out. There is no way I could live with that uncertainty day in and day out. It surprises me that his owner seems so relaxed about it. It annoys me a bit that Jasper and his owner are being made celebrities.

      • I expect it gives people who think cats should be always kept strictly indoors nightmares reading about Jasper.

  3. Since this is so much “fun,” why doesn’t the media [and Steph] contact Mr. Jackson Galaxy to assess why Jasper is doing this? It needs to be addressed pronto! for Jasper’s well-being.

    • I think I can tell you why Jasper is doing it. He is exercising his desire to roam in what he considers to be his range (home range). He does not understand the concept of train and bus travel which transports him to different places. He is just entering a different place with people. Jasper does not know that it is a train that moves.

      I am sure he gets picked up and taken home etc. It is just not feasible.

  4. Pls don’t misinterpret. What he does is wonderful, and he is such an internet/tv presence, he would be ideal! I respect him highly. 🙂

  5. Apoplogize for drifting from the topic of cats . This is a photo i took in Phnom Penh of a Australian Cambodian gentleman Mr Ben who travels around with his dog seated on the front of his Honda motorbike. It was the first time in my life that i saw such a scene in real life, normally seen in “Gimmick movies & T.V”.

    • There was a New Zealand man who trtavelled with his black cat on a motorcycle – famous – got hit by a car and both killed instantly.

      I think Jasper is also having a nice time but I am nonetheless worried he will die at any moment – it makes me sad.

    • I like that animals can enjoy adventures like this dog.
      But, Jasper isn’t accompanied by his human. He’s on his own. That’s way too crazy and scary to me.

  6. I’m worried about that cat I do believe in them having freedom but that woman is irresponsible wouldn’t you think the RSPCA would advise her it’s dangerous.

    • You are right Rose, looking again at this part of the animal welfare act:
      ‘To be protected from pain, injury, suffering and disease’
      Allowing Jasper to go off on trains for 6 weeks at a time isn’t protecting him from injury!

  7. Please be assured my cousin and her partner are doing everything they can to look after Jasper and to tame his travelling. You have no idea how worried the whole family were! They are concerned about what Jasper gets up to but cats also need freedom.

    He has a kind and loving home and a not so adventurous brother!

    • Thanks, Ruth, for commenting. I am pleased that there is real concern for Jasper. I just hope he isn’t allowed to get into what are probably dangerous situations all the time. Going outside is fine but to get on a train! That is something else.

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