If cats do in fact have nine lives, you can be sure one of North Arm Farm's resident felines lost at least one this holiday season.
On a chilly late-December day, a family visiting the Pemberton farm took a liking to Blinken, an affectionate ginger tabby known for his penchant for misadventure. After enjoying a hearty breakfast, the family packed into their truck and began the nearly five-hour drive back to Vernon.
But, about three-quarters of the way there, the family stopped off in Hope for a quick pit stop. That's when they noticed there was an unexpected passenger along for the ride.
"After the family left, we get a call midday sometime ... saying, 'Hey, I'm calling you from Hope and we just got out of our car to have a little rest and out from underneath the truck came your cat,'" recalled Trish Sturdy, farm owner. "Honestly, I don't know how it happened."
According to the family, the resourceful Blinken found a relatively safe space in the spare-tire compartment to stow himself away for the more than 300-kilometre ride. The problem then, however, was figuring out how to get the cat back to the farm.
Soon, a social-media call went out, much to the amusement of North Arm Farm's followers, most of whom would have already been familiar with the industrious Blinken.
"It's funny: because he's so friendly, there's honestly a million pictures of him (online). People do selfies with him all the time here and post them online. So he's famous," Sturdy said.
Initially, the online post garnered little in the way of help until 23-year-old Pemberton native Sheri Ptolemy heard of the situation a week later from her childhood friend, Thea Sturdy. A student at UBC's Okanagan campus in Kelowna, Ptolemy happened to be returning to Pemberton for the holidays and offered to bring Blinken back with her.
"Thea is one of my best friends and I love her family, so I thought if I could help, I would," Ptolemy said. "It wasn't a big inconvenience or anything, so it was pretty easy to say yes."
It's a happy ending to a story that could have turned out much worse—especially when you consider Blinken's history of daredevil feats. (Sadly, Blinken's brother Winken passed away last year.)
"We have this really big swing set on the farm. It's really tall. Well, he has been up on top of that swing set before. I don't know how he got up there—obviously he crawled—but it was really challenging for him to get down. But he did come down on his own," Sturdy said.
"He's totally a farm cat. Now he's the farm cat that came back, which is great."
Find the original story here.