Narrowboat cat killed in towpath bike collision

'My grief has been the worst pain I have known in my 40 years'

Thursday, 5th May — By Tom Foot

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The late Maine Coon cat Rora

A RISE in cyclists on the canal towpath is putting narrowboat cats in danger, a charity warned this week.

Cats Matter said felines were “sadly falling victim to speeding bikers” who “didn’t expect a cat to be there”.

In one harrowing tale, Maine Coon Rora was killed in a hit-and-run while exploring her new home in Hackney. The moggy had been used to canal life but had recently moved from another mooring in Camden.

Her owner, who just gave her name as Anna, said: “It was our second day there and Rora had been out for no more than 20 minutes when a young man knocked on my door and said he’d found a dying cat and needed help.

“With my heart in my mouth I hurried out, and just 10 metres away from our boat I found my Rora hissing, struggling to breathe, with blood in her mouth and covered in her own urine, her collar among the leaves and lots of her fur all around her.

‘My grief has been the worst pain I have known in my 40 years,” she added.

Anna said she had to take time off work sick with post-traumatic stress disorder and now the sight of “any vehicle, but bikes and scooters especially, triggers distressing flashbacks from particularly traumatic moments”.

Cyclists are being advised by the Cats Matter charity to ride at 8mph following the tragedy and to keep a special eye out for cats and other pets who might be getting to grips with a new mooring.

It said: “Apart from wildlife that may be on or near the towpath, people are not usually thinking there might be a cat roaming about on the canal also, so we just want to remind people to remember there is a high possibility, especially near moored boats, and enjoy the summer weather on canals in a responsible way.”

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