A cat is recovering at home with his owner after being rescued from inside the Tyne Tunnel.
Fourteen-year-old feline, Jerry, - who doesn’t usually leave the house - is thought to have hitched a ride to the tunnel’s Jarrow entrance in the engine compartment of a car.
His owner, Jill Borsberry, is relieved to have him back home.
Jill, who lives in Ann Street, Hebburn, was given Jerry as a gift on her 13th birthday and has become a much-loved member of the family.
The 27-year-old said: “He doesn’t usually go outside at all. We didn’t choose to make him an indoor cat, he’s just never liked going outside.
“He’s a bit old now and sometimes gets confused and I think he’s wandered out when the door was left open on Sunday night.
“He must have got confused and scared and just climbed into the engine compartment of a car to hide, then they’ve driven to the tunnel not knowing he was there.”
Jerry was rescued after a driver spotted him curled up in a doorway of the Northbound tunnel on Monday.
TT2 bosses recruited the help of animal rescue and rehoming charity Pawz For Thought to lead him to safety and reunite him with his owner.
Jill said bosses at TT2 checked CCTV footage after receiving the report to see where the cat had come from. After finding the car’s registration, they contacted the driver, who lives a few doors down from Jill.
She said: “We’d been frantically looking for him all day and it was about 6pm when my neighbour knocked on the door to say he’d been found inside the Tyne Tunnel.
“He jumped or fell from the car at 30mph so his paws were quite badly hurt – they’re red raw.
“We’ve taken him to the vet and he’s been bandaged up and has a cone on his head now so he looks like a little lamp shade.
“I don’t think he would have been napping in the tunnel though, he’s very timid and gets scared so was probably curled up in the corner hiding. He has cat epilepsy so he could have had a fit. I’m just so happy to have him back home safe.”
Jill, an accounts assistant at the Sage Gateshead, added: “He’s only ever been out the house once before when he was very young and we lost him for about three weeks.
“We put up posters and someone found him and called us, and he hadn’t been back out the house since then.”