Wendy the deaf cat and her 15-mile adventure

Liz Browne, left, Urban Jungle owner, and her team happy to have Wendy the deaf cat back at the nurs

Liz Browne, left, Urban Jungle owner, and her team are happy to have Wendy after she hopped in a car. The team are Natasha Harvey, barista, Mark Curtis, front, nursery assistant and Christopher Brett, manager. - Credit: Denise Bradley

A much-loved cat who lives at a popular garden centre and café decided to broaden her horizons on a 15-mile trip across the city.

Wendy the one-year-old deaf cat is well-known for causing mischief at Urban Jungle in Costessey.  

But last week she caused alarm when staff noticed she'd gone missing. 

Liz Browne, Urban Jungle owner, with Wendy, the deaf cat, back at the nursery after travelling in a

Liz Browne, Urban Jungle owner, with Wendy, her favourite nursery cat at Urban Jungle. - Credit: Denise Bradley

And after five days they feared the worst for the poor moggy. They were especially concerned because Wendy loves cars and vans and has tried to hitch a lift before. 

Then a breakthrough - but the team thought it was a long shot when a cat matching Wendy's description was reported in Tasburgh. 

Liz Browne, co-owner of Urban Jungle, said: “We love cats and they are great at keeping mice and rats away.” 

Because of Wendy's hearing issues her very loud meow has become a favourite feature for shoppers and diners.  

Wendy the deaf cat happy to be back at Urban Jungle after she travelled in a van to Taverham and was

Wendy the popular deaf cat was missing from Urban Jungle for five days. - Credit: Denise Bradley

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Liz added: “She bumbles around all day looking for cuddles from customers and staff. 

“She loves to be picked up and cradled like a baby and have her tummy tickled, even by strangers.  

“It was inevitable that sooner or later someone would accidentally drive off with her. It seemed too much to hope that it could be Wendy, a bit of a shot in the dark."

Liz Browne, left, Urban Jungle owner, and her team happy to have Wendy the deaf cat back at the nurs

The team at Urban Jungle did not expect the cat found in Tasburgh to be Wendy. - Credit: Denise Bradley

They were overjoyed to learn that it was in fact Wendy. 

Liz doesn’t think that this ordeal will change anything for Wendy. 

“We don’t think it will make any difference for Wendy," she said. "She will still try to get into vehicles she is a bit obsessed with them. 

“She is our favourite - she is nice but she is dim.” 

Wendy the deaf cat happy to be back at Urban Jungle after she travelled in a van to Taverham and was

Wendy the deaf cat happy to be back at Urban Jungle to greet her public after her five day excursion. - Credit: Denise Bradley

Wendy’s mum Lola was originally a feral cat from Denmark. When she was rescued she was starving, had a broken leg and was going to be shot.  

But Agnese Burkovska, who works at Urban Jungle, arranged for her to be brought to the UK.  

And when she had her kittens they went to live at Urban Jungle at 13 weeks old.  

Siblings Wendy, Walter and Skinny Pete have lived among the plants and trees at the Costessey business ever since.  

The best cat-friendly plants  

During lockdown there was a boom in houseplants purchases. But pet owners need to be cautious as some varieties can be poisonous for cats.  

Here are some houseplants that are moggy friendly:  

Cat Grass 

This grass with cats in mind - they can munch on this as a nutritious treat but it’s best to keep this away from other houseplants so your feline friend doesn’t think they can munch on them all.  

Ponytail Palm 

These plants purify the air and they prefer lower light but are lots of fun to look at.  

Air plants 

These striking plants are perfect for minimal space - they can hang or be displayed in terrariums. 

Money Tree 

This plant is very tropical looking with a braided stem, it’s very low maintenance but also said to bring positive energy into a room.