Queensland cat survives six weeks in NT outback
A COUPLE is making a five-day journey from Brisbane to Mataranka to rescue their beloved 18-year-old cat Spike, after he survived being lost in the NT Outback for six weeks.
Nomads Bob and Roseen had been travelling from Perth with their cat Spike across the country, when they had an overnight stop in Mataranka.
"We pulled into Mataranka for an over-nighter, and Spike's normal routine was he just stayed in the van and at night he had his harness on and a lead and attached to the van - he'd roll around in the dirt, mainly looking at the sky around him," Roseen said.
"He was normally only outside for half an hour and normally I was with him. On that night we had reception and I was just doing emails and what-not and thought I better go and get him and went behind the van and his harness was empty.
"I raced around the place looking under vans for him, calling, woke Bob up, we spent two hours looking and crawling, and we thought he would come back during the night.
"The overnight stay turned into six days."
The couple put up posters all over the town and the homestead, hoping their beloved Spike would turn up alive, but it didn't seem like they would have a happy ending.
"When we realised he was missing - because he's a member of the family - it was like losing a child. I was almost hysterical," Roseen said.
"Driving down the road and leaving the place, it was heartbreaking and I would have to say the tears were flowing from both of us."
A few false alarms over the next few weeks gave them hope, but ultimately proved uneventful.
But last week the couple received a call and exchanged some pictures that gave them hope.
"Last Tuesday night we had a phone call from Steve, the manager at Mataranka, he said 'we believe we've found your cat'," she said.
"The man who'd found him worked at the Sandalwood farm, 7km away from Mataranka Springs, and I understand that Spike turned up at his home in a pretty poorly state and he realised it wasn't a feral cat and he thought he might've been dead. But he meowed.
"The man's name is John, from all accounts the cat could not have had a better home to land on - this wonderful man has been looking after him."
After discovering Spike had used up yet another life surviving the Northern Territory Outback, the couple figured the best way to collect their 18-year-old cat would be to drive up together - they knew he would be in good hands at Mataranka.
As for how he survived the past six weeks, it's something the couple may never know.
"I only wish he had a GoPro around his neck," mused Roseen.