A ginger cat hopped into a shipping container in Egypt to embark on a 17-day, 3,000-mile trip to Britain, without food or water. And survived!
The feline has now been named Sinbad, after the famous Middle Eastern fairy tale hero Sinbad the Sailor. The cat was discovered by puzzled staff at Mediterranean Linens in Moreton-on-Lugg, in the U.K.
Staff heard meows coming from somewhere inside the container, which was carrying laundry linen for the firm.
1. Sinbad the cat survived a 3,000 mile and 17 day journey from Egypt to the U.K. in a shipping container.
2. Sinbad with vet Amy Wheelr (left) and RSPCA inspector Pippa Boyd (right), who was called out by the company to investigate after they heard strange noises coming from the container.
The RSPCA was then called to investigate and the exhausted and ravenous eight-month-old kitten was promptly found. He had made a bed for himself in one of the shipping boxes.
RSPCA’s Laura Quinn described Sinbad’s case as “unique”, noting that it was incredible he had survived the 17-day journey. She told The Daily Mail:
When we found him, he was really hungry, thirsty and tired but he also looked really friendly and was quite vocal.
It’s really unique, we’ve not had anything like this before. He had travelled quite some way. The linen company were also shocked by what had happened.
3. This map shows the route taken by Sinbad, from Alexandria Port in Egypt to Moreton-on-Lugg, Hereford, in the U.K.
4. Sinbad, a ginger kitten, was found in the container where he had made a bed for himself in one of the boxes.
RSPCA inspector Pippa Boyd, who was at the scene, said:
The company showed me the paperwork. They have to seal the containers and put a tag on there, which they did when the container left.
They showed me the paperwork and the tag, and it did all match up. We thought maybe at customs someone might have opened it up, but they didn’t.
Once they found him, Sinbad was taken to the Laurels Veterinary Surgery in Whitecross, Hereford, and was fed, a bit at a time.
Sinbad has been placed into quarantine for four months. He will then be checked at an RSPCA center and, if everything goes well, he will then be re-homed.
5. RSPCA inspector Pippa Boyd said it was an incredible feat to have survived for 17 days and hard to believe.
The feline’s mammoth journey began on March 8 at the Nile Linen group in Alexandria port in Egypt.
The container was at El-Dekheila port on March 9, at Felixstowe in Suffolk, U.K., on March 24 and then Moreton-on-Lugg, U.K., on March 25.
Graham Monteath, managing director at Mediterranean Linens, explained that they could not figure out what the noise in the container was when it arrived.
6. Sinbad, the ginger cat, started his epic journey in Alexandria port in Egypt (pictured) on March 8.
I have never heard a cat meow like that in my life. I would never have thought that was a cat.
One of the lads thought it was a baby. I thought it could have been a buzzard trying to get into the warehouse because we do get lots of them around here.
I just turned round and thought “good God’, what is that?” Then this cat’s head popped out of the door.
We checked the seal and it had not been tampered with. It was very odd. The RSPCA woman said that she was very surprised how well the cat looked.
It had scratched open one of the boxes. There was not much of a mess but we did not use any of the linen by that.
I gave him the beef which was for my lunch. He scoffed it.
So he got some good British food for his first meal on English soil.
7. The container carrying the cat got to El-Dekheila port on March 9 and to Felixstowe in Suffolk (pictured) on March 24.
Sinbad’s quarantine period will cost the RSPCA close to GBP2,000 ($3,000), but they have already surpassed that amount on a JustGiving appeal page the agency had set up to cover the costs.
Mediterranean Linens were among the first to donate (GBP100). Donations have also been made by Paragon Laundry / Clean Linen Services and Fresh Linen.
So far, close to GBP2,100 has been raised from 105 separate donations.
8. After covering 3,000 miles and following his 17-day ordeal without food and water, Sinbad arrived at the Mediterranean Linens (pictured) in Moreton-on-Lugg, Hereford, U.K.
Share this story with your friends and your thoughts in the comments below. Please retweet it to your Twitter followers — they would want to read that, too.