‘Is my puss in your boot?’

Sidmouth resident Veronica Wood with her cat Branson. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 3393-23-13AW

Sidmouth resident Veronica Wood with her cat Branson. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 3393-23-13AW - Credit: Archant

Hitch-hiking cat drives owner round the bend

AN adventurous cat has been driving his owner round the bend – by picking up a penchant for hitching lifts.

Veronica Wood has to keep an extra eye out when visitors leave her home as the pensioner’s feline friend Branson has got into the habit of sneaking into their vehicles.

She is considering putting up signs to warn motorists of the furry stow away.

The Tonkinese even ended up 10 miles away when he bedded down in the back of a gardener’s pick-up truck.

Dave Rowe had been delivering straw to Veronica’s award-winning garden in Orchard Close and only noticed the feline stowaway when he looked out of his rear view mirror while in West Hill to see him clinging on.

Two-and-a-half-year-old Branson was left traumatised by the road-trip – but that has not stopped him trying it again.

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“He has been in three other cars since then – people have driven off and suddenly noticed him on the parcel shelf,” said widow Veronica, 78.

She joked the cat must have an affinity with travel like his famous namesake Richard.

“Branson is very adventurous cat and inquisitive. He is perfect and I would be heartbroken if he wasn’t with me.”

Veronica said of Branson’s biggest adventure to date: “I couldn’t understand why he didn’t get out at the beginning. He was very upset afterwards bu was back to normal in no time. He got a tick for his troubles.”

Gardener Dave Rowe, 29, added: “I looked in the rear-view mirror and saw him holding on to a grill behind the back window. I stopped quickly, grabbed him and put him in the cab.”

Branson lived up to his reputation at an open garden event that raised £350 for Macmillan Cancer Support at the weekend.

“He put in an appearance at the weekend and settled himself in the back of a very grand Mercedes only revealing himself as the couple prepared to drive off!,” said Veronica.

“I shall have to put up a sign for visitors to check their vehicles - and next door too, who already have incidents to report.”

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