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Page last updated at 17:04 GMT, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 18:04 UK
Tales of Casper the commuting cat from Plymouth
By Laura Joint
BBC Devon

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Watch a BBC film of Casper on one of his bus journeys in 2009

Gone but not forgotten - Casper the commuting cat lives on in the pages of a new book about his life and sad demise.

Casper made worldwide headlines with his adventures on the Number 3 bus, which he would catch from his home in St Budeaux, Plymouth.

The black and white cat would travel 11 miles to the city centre and back.

Curling up on his favourite seat, he became a firm favourite with bus drivers and passengers.

That was, until January 2010, when he died after being knocked over by a hit-and-run driver.

His owner, Susan Finden, has now written a book about his adventures, and it is published on 5 August 2010.

"It's happy in parts and sad in parts, it's history," said Susan. "It's just a lovely tribute to a wonderful cat."

Susan Finden
Susan says she is proud to have been Casper's owner

Susan got Casper from a rescue home in Dorchester in 2002 - and straight away, it was obvious he was a real character.

"He was nine or 10 then," said Susan. "He kept disappearing.

"Then we moved to Frome. We lived next to a doctor's surgery. It wasn't long before I discovered he would be sitting in the surgery - they didn't seem too bothered.

"And then he went on to the chemists - they actually got him his own seat because he used to sit there from 9am until closing time at 6pm.

"So he was quite a celebrity.

"He also befriended some ladies in a factory - he had his own bed in there."

But it was Casper's rides across Plymouth on the First National number 3 bus which made him world famous.

Susan was blissfully unaware of his travels until she went to catch the bus one day: "I said to the driver 'hurry up and go or my cat will follow us'.

"And he said 'in actual fact, you are sitting in his seat', which I didn't believe - I thought he was having me on.

"Then I made further enquiries with the other drivers and yes, it was correct."

The story went around the world in the summer of 2009, as did Casper's death earlier this year.

"Even now, I still have emails every day, Facebook messages every day, and letters from Australia, Argentina, Indonesia, America - all over the place," said Susan.

"I feel proud that I was the owner of Casper. Hopefully, he's looking down and having a laugh."

Casper the Commuting Cat is published by Simon & Schuster.




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