Cat is Back Home After Boarding Ship Headed for Oil Rig

Life With Cats is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page.
Janet Holland is reunited with Poppy
Photo / James Bass


Bradwell, Norfolk, UK resident Janet Holland was devastated when her distinctively tailless two year old tabby cat Poppy went missing two and a half months ago. Janet searched for Poppy and called for her every day, but it seemed she had disappeared.

Poppy had somehow made her way some miles from home, ending up in Yarmouth, but her adventure did not end there.

The crew of a boat bound for the North Sea oil rigs was 30 miles out to sea when they discovered a feline stowaway on board. They kept the kitty safe, fed her, and tended to her until their return to port.  They also notified their local RSPCA branch and sent a photo of the cat.

The RSPCA East Norfolk Branch posted the cat’s photo at Facebook on September 12, saying:

“This is the cat that got on board the ship that is in the North sea. Please can you share and lets try and find the owner the cat is being looked after on board and the ship will be back in to dock on Monday. The vessel sailed from the Quay on Soutown Road, Great Yarmouth. Contact me asap if you think this maybe your cat.”

Locals tried to identify the cat, and an active discussion followed online.

Once kitty was back on land, the RSPCA East Norfolk Branch was able to scan for a microchip, and the chip identified Poppy and led to her reunion with her shocked and grateful petmom, Janet Holland.

Poppy had been on a sea voyage while Janet searched for her near their home.

“The RSPCA phoned me quite early in the morning and when they told me where she’d been, I thought I was dreaming,” said Janet.

“I can not thank them or the ship’s crew enough. They probably don’t realise just how much this means to me.

“She has a little friend over the back she goes and plays with and she’s known for wandering around the school playing field. But Poppy had never spent a night away from home so we thought the worst.

“We walked around the block searching for her and I called the school when it was open again in case she was there, but no one had seen her. Now we know why.

“I just can’t believe it. It goes to show how important getting them micro chipped is.”

Poppy returned home on Monday, to rejoin Janet, two other cats named Shady and Rebel, and Gormless, a Shih Tzu terrier mix little dog.

“We really pleased there has been a happy ending and really pleased Janet had Poppy micro chipped,”  branch manager of RSPCA East Norfolk Debra Cook said.

“When we heard about that on the ship we started quite a bit of detective work and spoke to lots of people, but it was the microchip that led us to the owner.”


Poppy at sea, in the photo sent to the RSPCA branch by the ship’s crew.



Leave a Comment