From Dubai to down the Tube, moggy dubbed ‘Pimlicat’ finds his ‘fur-ever’ home

Mr Jingles has been dubbed ‘Pimlicat’ after being rescued from Pimlico station   ( Handout)
Mr Jingles has been dubbed ‘Pimlicat’ after being rescued from Pimlico station ( Handout)

When Mr Jingles the cat was rescued from Dubai, little did he realise the adventures ahead of him when he ran away and ended up on the London Underground.

He spent between 10 to 14 days in a Victoria line tunnel – before being tempted into a cat box by the scent of “smelly fish” laid by Pimlico station manager David Nobbs.

Now he has found his “fur-ever” home in Suffolk, where he lives with a couple and their three children.

The story began last October when drivers reported the possible sighting of a cat and station staff believed they could hear a cat meowing. Mr Nobbs went to investigate and spotted the cat, which was nicknamed “Pimlicat”, stranded deep in the tunnel leading to Victoria.

The cat, a white Arabian Mau, had been brought to London by a good Samaritan who saw it injured in Dubai (Handout)
The cat, a white Arabian Mau, had been brought to London by a good Samaritan who saw it injured in Dubai (Handout)

“We had a report from a couple of Tube drivers who thought they had seen a cat in the tunnel between Pimlico and Victoria, in the northbound tunnel,” Mr Nobbs told the Standard.

“One or two of my members of staff also thought they heard a cat meowing. On the Underground we have a ‘dragon’ lamp to look into the tunnels. We are not allowed on the track when the trains are running but I could see the cat in the distance.

“I called to the cat by meowing down the tunnel and it would reply to me. It was a very vocal cat. But it was too scared to come back on to the platform when the trains were running.

“It would come back during the middle of the night when there were no trains running. We could see it on the CCTV, prowling on the platform and trying to catch mice. But as soon as anyone went near it, it would disappear back into the tunnel for safety.”

Mr Jingles was tempted into cat box by scent of ‘smelly fish’ (Handout)
Mr Jingles was tempted into cat box by scent of ‘smelly fish’ (Handout)

The cat, a white Arabian Mau, had been brought to London by a good Samaritan who saw it injured in Dubai and had it treated by a vet. It was with a “foster carer” in Pimlico, awaiting a permanent home, when it escaped and ended up in the Tube station.

Mr Nobbs tried several times to lure the cat out of the tunnel using cat treats. Jules Mac, a Pimlico “cat rescuer”, and one of her neighbours, also helped by visiting the station each evening and attempting to lure the cat back to safety.

After several unsuccessful nights, a bait of “smelly fish” was placed in a camouflaged cage hired from the Cats Protection League. It closed automatically on being entered. Pimlicat was captured that night.

Mr Nobbs said: “It could have got stuck in the tunnel. It could have been hit by a train or electrocuted. Fortunately the gods were smiling and the cat got back safely. They really do have nine lives.”

He added: “I’ve been working on the London Underground for 16 years and you get all walks of life come through the station, but never before a cat on the loose.”

Friends of Felines – a cat rescue group in Essex – cared for him until he was ready to find a new home (Handout)
Friends of Felines – a cat rescue group in Essex – cared for him until he was ready to find a new home (Handout)

Friends of Felines – a cat rescue group in Essex – cared for him until he was ready to find a new home.

Just before Christmas, a Suffolk family expressed an interest in rehoming the cat. Charlotte Kemp, who lives with her husband and three children, said the cat – who has been renamed Mr Jingles – had “filled a cat-shaped hole in our lives since our previous cat sadly died”.

She said: “My eldest son, who is autistic, has always wanted a white cat and I just happened to see him on the website, and liked the sound of him.

They explained what he was like and that he wasn’t a cuddly cat, but that suited us as my son is also quite ‘hands-off’, so they thought we might be a good match for him.

“He’s really turning out to be an affectionate cat, and has chosen me as his person that he follows about everywhere. He really loves to snuggle up with me.”