Lola went missing in March 2014. This is the story of what happened to her told in her owner, Tracey’s words:
My beautiful Lola is the daftest friendliest affectionate of girls. We had a tight bond that bound us together. Most mornings she would be seen strutting alongside me as I walked my daughter to school. At times she would wait by the school gate for me to walk back home but mostly she would end up purring and sucking at my shoulder as I carried her into school with me! Everyone knew Lola!
However, I have come to learn that not all had her best interests at heart and that unbeknown to me, when I wasn't there, the bus drivers (there is a bus stop opposite the school where the drivers often took their breaks) were encouraging Lola aboard their stationary vehicle, petting her, feeding her and letting her explore! Understandably over time, because of the various bus drivers’ actions, this meant that Lola thought this was a safe thing to do!
I walked to school as normal expecting to meet Lola along the way but she was nowhere. This was very out of character for her. I looked for her again at home and after school. That evening I went out calling for her. The next morning there was still no sign, I started asking around if anyone had seen her and walked the village calling several times over...no sign.
I began to print posters and posted her missing on the various Facebook pages, totally out of my mind with worry, unable to sleep or eat.
On the Monday of the second week the cleaners of the school came forward and said they had seen Lola walking round the tops of seats on the top deck of the bus, in full clear view of the driver who was up there also on his phone, drinking from a can of Coke. He was fully aware that she was on his vehicle.
I immediately phoned the bus company, gave them the number from the bus and time etc... I asked them to contact the driver of the bus that evening and ask him if my cat was on his bus and if he put her off before leaving. They came back to me and said "the driver says no cat on the bus".
I rang the bus company twice more that week but they continued to deny it all knowledge.
Eventually on the Thurs of the second week a lady contacted me and said she knew my Lola's fate, that her brother in law was a bus driver and he knew what had happened to my beautiful girl. She told me that the driver of the 17.30 number 13 bus from Spixworth had allowed Lola onto his bus, he drove off with her in full knowledge that she was still on board. He headed towards the city, at one point he would have passed a bus stop right outside old Catton vets, yet he did nothing.
He continued to the stop on Constitution Hill in Norwich (near the One StopShop), here is where the first set of passengers boarded. They were two ladies that worked at what was Jigsaw nursery just further up the road (I have traced and spoken to them).
They said as the doors opened they could hear Lola's distressed meows coming from upstairs, the driver said to them "I have a cat on board, is that a problem?" At this point Lola tentatively started down the stairs, the driver left the door open and shooed her off, he then shut the doors and drove off, leaving her there, lost, alone, scared and miles from the family that loves her immensely.
On learning this horrendous information, I rang the bus company to confront them with facts, they submitted, they had lied and yes this is what happened.
The driver in question has been protected by his employers, he has never apologised or come forward with info or offered to help.
I drove to Constitution Hill immediately in blind panic, called searched and put posters up.
It has unfolded since that a lady saw her the next day walking up towards the roundabout... heading in the direction of home.... but faced with the noise and traffic she turned back.
On the Weds a man called Alex had been out drinking with a friend when Lola befriended them, she proceeded to follow them all the way round to Angel Road. Struck by her beauty and friendliness, Alex proceeded to take several photos of her.
On the Friday evening, Lola approached a couple of women sat waiting for a bus at the stop at the bottom of Elm Grove Lane, again taken by her affectionate ways they took a photo of her.
Once I knew roughly where she had been left I walked and called the entire area, putting up posters everywhere. This is when I came to learn of the photos that had been taken of her.
She visited several other places in that area over the coming months and people got in touch, but no one ever kept hold of her :(
I want Lola's true story known. I will never ever give up on the hope of getting her home, she is family and I hope my love for her comes across to everyone that reads this.
I thank every single person that has helped, shared posts and looked for Lola. I pray that one day I can give you a happy ending to her tragic tale. She did not deserve to be ripped away from her home and family by an unthoughtful, heartless creature that showed total lack of compassion and common sense.