A Cambridge family say their wandering ginger cat will stay inside at night from now on after going awol for 16 days and being found at Waikato Hospital - 25km away.

Owner Paula Hardgrave says her beloved 7-year-old puss was friendly, but she doubts he would have walked all the way to the city and believes he was likely "bundled up" and taken on a joyride to Hamilton.

In a post which would make any pun fanatic proud, Waikato Hospital wrote about Wilbur's "furmidable" journey on its Facebook page.

"This little guy is Wilbur. Wilbur appeared in our department around a week ago. He's super friendly and made himself at home around our triage bay and waiting room. Several patients found themselves receiving cuddles and our staff found him hard to resist too.


"Sadly, our work has to continue so after some time he was escorted off premises by security.

"Wilbur is pretty 'furmidable' though so he returned the next day, and the next. He became part of the ED family. He appeared well fed so we weren't concerned as to his safety."

The hospital added how surprised it was to see a post from Wilbur's owner who lives all the way over in Cambridge - 25km away.

"Wilbur had been missing for 16 days! But the really amazing part of this story is that Wilbur's home is in Cambridge. That's 25km away! 'Fur' real!!"

Hardgrave said her beloved boy had been missing since the morning of May 5.

She had woken to discover that he wasn't sitting on any of the three chairs that he would usually be sitting on.

Concerningly, he was not known to wander.

With that in mind, she doubted he would have willingly jumped into a stranger's car, despite being friendly.


"I think he must have gone out into the street. We live down a quiet lane, and I think someone has bundled him up into a car and taken him to Hamilton.

"He's friendly to people that we have at our property. He's just one of those cats that have a really good personality and I was just devastated that he was gone."

She first became aware that he might be in the city after noticing a post on a Lost and Found pet's page on Facebook saying there was a "friendly ginger Tom hanging around the ED, does anybody want him".

"I had him registered on every lost pets register everywhere and saw the post and thought 'that's my cat'."

Being in Auckland, there was little she could immediately do, so she contacted her husband and daughter who immediately raced to the hospital to grab him.

"Apparently he spent a lot of time cruising the ED or down in the library or across in the cafe so he's been there for about 10 days."


On seeing his owners, she said Wilbur didn't think twice about going into the cat cage that her husband had.

Although pleased to see them, Wilbur was looking a bit thin, she said.

"He's very skinny. so he's come home very thin. He wasn't himself for the past two nights. This morning was the first sign of his normal personality coming through. I think he was suffering very much stress from being away from the family."

She added that despite many comments on social media to the contrary, Wilbur had been desexed.

She thanked her local Cambridge community for their messages of support during his unexpected adventure.

As for Wilbur's wanderings, Hardgrave said he would be kept inside at night from now on.


Who doesn't love a pawsitive result.

Hi everyone, (warning this post contains high levels of terrible puns) This post is a little different from my usual....

Posted by Waikato Hospital on Thursday, 23 May 2019