Tiny bridge survivor now top cat in his new home

By Beck Vass

Sheryl Walker says no one knows how Mr T came to be on the Harbour Bridge the night he was found. Photo / Steven McNicholl
Sheryl Walker says no one knows how Mr T came to be on the Harbour Bridge the night he was found. Photo / Steven McNicholl

A kitten who became famous after an Auckland Harbour Bridge rescue is now the boss of his home.

Mr T, whose name is short for Tango after the police team that rescued him, was found as a kitten, soaking wet in a storm, his head popping up from behind the moving barrier on the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Three years on, he's a healthy 6.1kg and "rules the roost" at his Helensville home.

Mr T's owner, Sheryl Walker, said she adopted him soon after his rescue when he was being cared for by her colleague at the North Shore City Council.

"I had lost my beautiful cat about a week before and was very distraught - wasn't going to have another one - and the girls just said 'this one's for you and he's just gorgeous'. We just fell in love with him, he's a real personality. He's become a country cat."

No one knows if Mr T was a stray, but Mrs Walker said she knew of two other cats that were abandoned that night and found nearby in Birkenhead and Onewa Rd.

"They don't know how he got there or whether he was dumped on the bridge or climbed up. It's like somebody dumped a litter somewhere so we don't really know but anyway, he fell on his feet beautifully and he rules the roost in my neck of the woods now."

Mrs Walker doesn't even know what breed Mr T is. He was initially thought to be Siamese, but has the characteristics of a Russian white.

"He's very beautiful - he's got a lovely thick white coat and yellowy-green eyes and he's quite a magnificent creature.

"He indicates what he wants so if he wants you to feed him, the paw comes out and hits you. And if dinner isn't on time - at six at night - you get a whack and if you ignore him, he goes around, he'll start ripping the furniture. If you still ignore him, he goes under the TV set.

"If that doesn't work he'll climb on top and dangle a leg so you can't watch the TV.

"He communicates the whole time to you and if you do ignore him, he climbs up to the coffee table and he's nose to nose with you telling you that 'excuse me, my food is not where it should be'.

"He's a real character, I've never had a cat like it, ever."

Mr T's story has emerged after a dog named Milo was found at the top of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, surviving peak-hour traffic at 4.30pm last Monday.

Milo had run from a home in St Marys Bay.

Police said they had also rescued an English setter and a blue penguin from the bridge.

- NZ Herald

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