A one-eyed black cat who found his way onto an offshore installation has been returned home – five years after he went missing.
This North Sea tiger – apparently known as Joe but nicknamed “Jack” and “Cyclops” by offshore workers on account of his ocular impairment – appeared from a storage container onboard the Buzzard platform on Wednesday evening.
The intrepid explorer appears to have stowed away in a container bound from Peterhead, apparently ending up on the CNOOC-operated platform some 60 miles northeast of Aberdeen.
The cat had been a stray, frequenting regular HMP Grampian in Peterhead, but the Scottish SPCA said that, following his offshore adventure, they scanned his microchip and discovered his name is in fact Dexter. Not only that – has an owner and has actually been missing for five years.
Scottish SPCA animal rescue officer, Aimee Findlay said: “We were alerted yesterday to an incident of a cat being found in a shipping container offshore.
“We’ve no idea how the cat ended up there, but attended the heliport this morning to collect him.
“The cat had been nicknamed ‘One-eyed Joe’ by the prison who had been feeding him for five years, but after checking him for a microchip it turns out his real name is Dexter and he has been missing for five years!
“We are so glad that he was well looked after for the time he was missing, but were even more delighted to be able to reunite him with his original owner thanks to his microchip being up to date.”
The cat’s appearance made for a surprise for workers offshore.
A tongue-in-cheek safety card filled out for the stowaway suggests that the night shift deck crew “ran away frightened” at the surprise discovery of their newest teammate.
Staff from HMP Grampian in Peterhead reportedly reached out to the workers who found the cat to say he has lived by the prison for some time and has been looked after by them – even going by their own nickname of “one-eyed Joe.”
Comments from local residents described him is a “much-loved” cat who chooses to sleep in the prison at night, where he is “fussed over” by staff and inmates.
Other reports suggest he also is well known to staff at the Peterhead supply base of global logistics group ASCO, and where it appears he may have stowed away for his offshore travels.
Joe has apparently been “spoiled rotten” by workers during his time offshore, receiving “loads of attention” and “plenty treats of chicken from the kitchen.”
The Scottish SPCA collected him earlier this morning following a personal helicopter ride back to shore.