A STOWAWAY cat survived a 3,000-mile journey from Turkey to Scotland in a sealed container – by eating nuts and licking up condensation.
Workers in Kirkcaldy, Fife, were astonished to open the container after its four-week road trip and find Marble the cat dirty and thin but alive.
Animal rescuers believe the remarkable moggy managed to stay alive by licking condensation that formed on the inside of the container and snacking on a consignment of peanuts.
It is unclear where in Turkey the cat was trapped but the closest point, Istanbul, is 2,300 miles by road while the south-eastern borders with Iraq and Iran are 3,500 miles distant.
Marble, one, almost certainly travelled through at least eight countries on her remarkable voyage – which is thought to have set a Scottish stowaway record for a live cat.
Due to disease control, Marble is currently being held at a quarantine centre in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, where she will spend the next four months recovering.
She had no ID chip or any form of collar tag and will be rehomed in Scotland.
Cats Protection, the charity whose East Neuk branch helped rescue Marble, is appealing donations to help meet the bill of up to £3,000 for quarantine.
Su Dodsworth, owner of Aquithie Boarding and Quarantine Kennels & Cattery, where Marble is staying, is convinced Marble was someone’s pet rather than a stray.
She said: “She’s just such a lovely cat who is so friendly. She has one of the best natures I’ve ever seen in a cat and is always up for cuddles.
“I think she once belonged to a family because of how well she handles humans or she was extremely well socialised in Turkey.
“She is settling in quite well. Cats are extremely resilient and although she was really dirty and quite thin when she was found she amazingly wasn’t emaciated.
“She would have licked the condensation from the side of the container for liquid and it’s thought the container was moving peanuts so that’s what she would have eaten.”
Marble will be given a microchip and rabies vaccine before being tested for the disease in 30 days’ time. The stay will cost around £2,500 to cover vet bills and accommodation.
Then an appeal will be made by Cat Protection to find a new home for the feline.
Marble’s stowaway trip to Scotland of between 2,300 – 3,500 miles is believed to be the longest ever recorded.
A spokesman for Cats Protection said: “We estimate Marble’s quarantine costs will be around £2,500, not to mention the care she will need while we find her a new home. As Cats Protection is funded entirely by public generosity we desperately need people’s help to secure Marble’s future.
“She has been through so much in her short life already and really deserves a second chance.”