DODGER the cat is living up to his namesake by cadging scraps of food and free bus trips around Dorset.

The ginger moggy, who was named after the Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist, has become well known at Bridport bus station, where he prowls around all day waiting for opportunities.

He has been seen hopping on and off buses, sitting on passengers’ laps as they wait, and devouring old sandwiches left at the station.

Dodger’s latest escapade saw him taking a trip to Charmouth and back and he is believed to have taken excursions along the Jurassic Coast on the X53.

But the cunning 15-year-old cat is not a stray – he goes back to his home in West Street to get fed and sleeps on his owner’s bed every night.

Owner Fee Jeanes said: “Our house is on the main road but we back on to the bus station.

“We moved here 19 months ago and where we lived before he wouldn’t go anywhere, but now he goes off down the bus station every day.

“He loves it there because there are lots of people around and they all drop their sandwiches and pork pies. The drivers buy cat food for him and he sits on people’s laps.

“Sometimes he just sits in the middle of the road and waits for the bus to turn up. He is down there all day and I have to go out in the night to make sure he is ok.”

Dodger has now started taking trips around the county.

He was spotted in Charmouth and when Mrs Jeanes got in the car to try and find him, she saw him hopping back off the bus at Bridport.

She said: “I was going to to Charmouth but he came back on his own.

“I suppose the bus drivers know him so well they know where he belongs.”

Mrs Jeanes also caught him getting on the X53, which travels between Exeter and Poole.

“I stopped the bus and the driver said he likes to sit on the seats because they are warm where people have been sitting. There was another occasion where he got on a bus and the children were feeding and stroking him.

“The bus driver stopped down the road and let him off.”

Dodger is familiar to regular bus passengers and drivers, but Mrs Jeanes still receives several calls a week asking if she has lost a ginger cat.

A spokesman for First said they didn’t mind Dodger on their buses but didn’t actively encourage him.

“The drivers have been asked not to feed it – because we recognise that cat has an owner and we do not want to discourage it from returning home for food and shelter, but in principle we do not have a problem with it being around the bus station.

“Given this cat is elderly we suspect it would be eligible for free travel, perhaps a bus puss, if such a thing existed.”