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Catsaway; CALMAC FURRY JUMPS SHIP ON ISLAND.

Byline: Brendan McGinty

As great escapes go it was certainly an Oscar-winning performance.

For Oscar the cat enjoyed his holiday in the Western Isles so much that he jumped ship to continue it nearly 200 miles from home.

But Oscar's leap for freedom has left his Perthshire owner heartbroken.

And despite putting up posters, and returning to the isle of Barra where she believes he got off, Lindsay Arbuthnott and her son Magnus have so far failed to find him.

Lindsay, of Caputh, has travelled hundreds of miles and endured more than 10 hours of ferry crossings to look for Oscar, who has been going to the isles with his family all his life.

She was returning from a break on South Uist when her 15-year-old Blue Point Siamese escaped from her car on Calmac ferry Lord of the Isles.

Lindsay believes Oscar may have gone ashore when the vessel stopped at Barra on March 30, or got another vehicle as passengers were getting off in Oban.

She said: "Oscar must have stood on the passenger window control because it was wide open when I returned.

"The crew saw him on the car deck at Barra but unfortunately did not think of tannoying an announcement or trying to catch him, and the deck filled up completely over the next 45 minutes.

"I think he would have been scared of the noise and hidden, although his paw prints were on the car bonnet where he had tried to get back in, but I suspect he lost the car once the deck filled up.

"We searched and called on the car deck for half an hour, but it wasn't until I was halfway home that the shock began to wear off and I thought I must go back to Barra in case he'd gone ashore.

"So the following day I returned and searched the car deck and the rest of the boat. The crew were helpful and promised to keep an eye out, and everyone on Barra was wonderful.

"With a lot of help, I put up posters and called for Oscar around Castlebay. However, a white cat would stand out like a sore thumb and somebody would most probably have seen him.

"I suspect he's probably gone with somebody on the car deck at Oban. I just hope we can reach that person to ask for his return so he can end his days in his familiar home."

CAPTION(S):

ISLE BE OFF Oscar could have left ferry on Barra
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 20, 2014
Words:419
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