Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Stowaway cat in 2,000-mile journey

A Persian cat travelled from Egypt to the UK after sneaking into its owner's suitcase (AP)

A well-travelled cat has been placed in quarantine after enduring a 2,200-mile (3,540km) journey from Egypt to Britain inside its unwitting owner's suitcase.

Bisou, who was accidentally zipped inside the case in Cairo, is said to have been extremely fortunate to survive the freezing temperatures inside the cargo hold on a five-hour flight from the Egyptian capital to London.

The seven-year-old Persian cat, who is believed to have hopped into the bag for a nap, was only discovered after her owner, Mervat Ciuiti, had touched down in Britain and was heading in a taxi to visit her sister in Radcliffe-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire.

Now being cared for at one of the UK's seven quarantine kennels, Bisou faces a six-month wait to be reunited with Mervat, who has returned to Egypt.

Mike Binks, the owner of Calagran Kennels, near Chesterfield, Derbyshire, said Bisou had been lucky to survive for so long in a cargo hold and escape unharmed as luggage was loaded onto the plane and off again.

"Obviously the suitcase wasn't jam-packed," Mr Binks said.

"But there must have been enough insulation around the cat to keep it warm as the heating (on a plane) doesn't go down into the hold.

"A miracle might be pushing it slightly, but the cat certainly had a very lucky escape.

"We've had dogs and cats in the past that have stowed away, but it's the first time we've had one come through via a suitcase."

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