Tuesday 17 November 2020

More domestic cats jumping into vans and being lost during Covid lockdowns

NEWS and VIEWS: The Edinburgh Evening News reports that, in Scotland, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of domestic cats being carried away from their home by delivery vans or removal lorries. This is because during lockdown many more people have taken to ordering products online which of course necessitates the arrival of a delivery van. The driver darts up to the front door leaving the van doors open. At that particular moment the family cat is wandering around the front of the house and being as inquisitive as ever jumps into the van and is driven away.

Photo by Dids from Pexels

Fortunately it appears that the majority of cats lost this way are microchipped but there are calls for delivery van drivers to check their vans before driving off which won't happen because they are so pressed for time. They barely have time to wait for the owner of the house to come to the front door. In fact nowadays they simply bang on the front door, leave the package by the door and scarper.

One worrying aspect of this is that at the next stop the van driver opens the doors again at which point the cat jumps out but this could be several miles away and therefore the cat is lost. Perhaps they can make their way home because cats are fantastic navigators but it's a worry.

Nicola Zellent, a senior warden at the Lothian Cat Rescue, suggested that drivers should not leave the doors open when delivering or someone should guard the van but neither of these suggestions will be taken up. I know that because, as mentioned, the job is too demanding to be distracted by these added activities.

Perhaps the best prevention is for cat owners to become enlightened to the problem and when the delivery van turns up they go out to the van to collect the item. Of course, this is only viable if they are at home and often they are not. Microchipping nearly always saves the cat but it's troublesome.

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