A globetrotting cat has clocked up 50,000 miles by travelling Europe in his owners’ camper van.
The black cat named Noodles has been travelling with Alex, 71, and Robert Crosland, 72, since the couple retired and bought a motor home seven years ago.
In September the trio set off on their current 5,000 mile trip, through France and Spain, and are set to return home to Bingley in West Yorkshire for Christmas.
Noodles the cat, 10, has visited five different countries and stopped off at hundreds of locations with his owners Alex, 71, and Robert Crosland, 72, from Bingley, West Yorkshire
Alex, 71, and Robert Crosland, 72, with Noodles with the couple’s 30ft long Hobby Premium Drive camper
Ten-year-old Noodles has his own pet passport and gets jabs before heading overseas, where he is given free reign on the campsites.
Over the years he has visited five different countries, including Italy, Spain, Germany, France and England, and stopped off at hundreds of different locations.
Alex, 71, said: ‘Noodles has been all over with us, he absolutely loves travelling.
‘He’s such an inquisitive cat so he loves exploring all the new places that we visit.
‘When we first arrive somewhere he’ll spend an hour or two under the van, getting used to the scent and sounds of the place, then he’ll venture a bit further out.
‘He seems to have a really great time while we’re away.’
The retired researcher added: ‘Everyone who bumps into Noodles loves him, they have to do a double-take though because they can’t believe we have a cat on holiday.’
Among Noodles’ favourite holiday destinations are Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, Pompeii, Sorrento, Marbella, the Amalfi coast and Capri.
The trio took their first trip abroad together when Noodles was a kitten and the couple moved to the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in west-central France for a year
Noodles on the beach in Mojacar, Spain
He has also visited Monaco, Saint-Tropez, Zaragoza, Lourdes, the Pyrenees and all the Italian lakes over the years.
But the cat was left behind at their home in Bingley last winter when the couple travelled to Russia.
Alex said: ‘We went to Russia but it was on a Baltic cruise so we had to leave Noodles behind with family.
‘He was really grumpy because he knew we were setting off somewhere without him, I felt so guilty.
‘He misses us when we’re away and he’s all over us when we return.’
The trio took their first trip abroad together when Noodles was a kitten and the couple moved to the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in west-central France for a year.
Alex fondly remembers her precious puss chasing lizards and ‘trying to pull of their tails.’
Robert Crosland, 72, holding Noodles in Spain (left). Alex Crosland, 71, with Noodles on the beach (right)
Since then he has been abroad with the couple, who have seven children and nine grandchildren between them, every single year.
‘The camper van is a home from home for all three of us,’ Alex said.
‘Even when we’re at home we often take him out in the car, he sits in his cat basket and looks out of the window.’
The couple’s 30ft long Hobby Premium Drive camper van has a kitchen, dining area, double bedroom and shower, which allows them to live in it for months at a time.
‘You can’t beat the freedom of just setting off, we have everything we need in the van,’ Alex said.
Noodles riding in the Hobby camper van on the passenger seat as he embarks on another adventure
‘If we pull up somewhere we always make sure one of us has hold of Noodles before we open the door.
‘When we get to a campsite, we just park up and that’s it. He hops onto the dashboard to take a look then, when he’s ready, he’s off to have a look around.’
Before embarking on a trip, Alex and Robert plan where to stay, always taking Noodles into account by plotting a cat-friendly route with appropriate camp sites.
The couple never stay in cities but sometimes stop at a site nearby and travel in, leaving Noodles curled up in his basket.
Alex said: ‘We’re very selective about where we stay, we choose places with plenty of trees so it’s cool. We always park it in a quiet, shady spot, away from the road.
‘When we go out Noodles is happy to stay in the camper van, we draw the curtains so he has shade, and open an air vent, and we never leave him too long.’