Can I see your bus paws, please?
There were several similar sightings about 20 years ago at various locations around the town, many of them recordeBUS DRIVERS in a West Midlands town have nicknamed a white cat Macavity – like the mystery cat in T.S Elliot’s poem - after he started using the No 331 several mornings a week…. unaccompanied by any owner.
Macavity - who has a purple collar and is very distinctive, with one blue eye and one green - gets onto the busy Walsall to Wolverhampton bus at the same stop most mornings, then jumps off at the next stop 400m down the road, near a fish and chip shop. So far, no one has come forward to claim ownership of the public transport-loving pet.
Driver Bill Khunkhun, 49, who first saw the cat jumping from the bus in January, said: ‘It is really odd, the first time I saw the cat jumping off the bus with a group of passengers. I hadn’t seen it get on which was a bit confusing.
Macavity sits quietly on the 331 Willenhall bus and then slips off at the next stop - conveniently by the fish ’n’ chip shop.
‘The next day I pulled up on Churchill Road to let a couple of passengers on. As soon as I opened the doors the cat ran towards the bus, jumped on and ran under one of the seats. I don’t think any of the passengers noticed.
‘Because I had seen it jump off the day before, I carried on driving and sure enough when I stopped just down the road he jumped off. I don’t know why he would catch the bus but he seems to like it. I told some of the other drivers on this route and they have seen him too.’
Since January, when the cat first caught the bus, he has done it two or three times a week and always gets on and off at the same stops.
Passenger Paul Brennan, 19, who catches the 331 to work, said: ‘I first noticed the cat a few weeks ago. At first I thought it was accompanied by its owner but after it became quite clear he was on his own.
‘He sat at the front of the bus, waited patiently for the next stop and then got off. It was quite strange at first but now it just seems normal. I suppose he is the perfect passenger really - he sits quietly, minds his own business and then gets off.’
Bus operators First Mainline are quite happy to let Macavity continue to use the service without paying any fare as he doesn’t travel further than one stop.