Now, soccer fans and cat lovers are coming together to pay for Topsey's medical bills.
headshot of a tortoise shell cat that was found on the pitch
Credit: dolfvik / Adobe Stock

After missing for eight months, surviving an animal attack, and disrupting a soccer match, Topsey the cat is facing a long, expensive recovery. Thankfully, both cat lovers and soccer fans are stepping up to ensure she gets the care she needs.

The 9-year-old cat went missing last June and, her owner, Alison Jubb, told ITV she'd given up hope that she'd find Topsey. Then, last Tuesday, the beloved cat resurfaced in a rather public way. She scampered out onto the pitch during a soccer match between Sheffield Wednesday and Wigan Athletic, a pair of third tier soccer teams in England.  

As Topsey was corralled, the humans realized she was hurt. Outside Hillsborough Stadium, in Owlerton, she'd been attacked by an animal who'd left teeth marks on her neck and most likely broke her spine. Her owner says she needs several tests and an expensive operation to live out the rest of her life in peace. 

Jubb, who lives in Sheffield, England, is trying to raise roughly $13,500 to pay for Topsey's treatment, and the public—including fans who were at the fateful match—has already donated 82 percent of the funds after a little more than a day.

"Thank you so much everyone," Jubb said, to those who have donated so far. "It's so amazing the response that has been given to Topsey's cause. This means so much and gives her a fighting chance of being well again. She has a long way to go yet to get back to full health but the vets are doing everything they can to help her". 

Topsey went missing over the summer on her way to a cattery, after she escaped her cat carrier. She then survived on her own for eight months. Then, last week, Jubb received a call from her daughter-in-law, who asked if she was watching the match. 

"I said, 'no,' and she said, 'There's a cat that ran on the football pitch and it just looks like Topsey,'" Jubb told ITV. "And I sort of laughed it off because I thought it won't be [her]."

At the match, Topsey evaded capture to cheers and applause before a Wigan player, Jason Kerr, picked her up and carried her off the field. That's about when the humans tending to her realized she was injured. A man named Sam, a Sheffield Wednesday season ticket holder and a veterinarian, took her to get medical care, Jubb said. 

A scan of Topsey's microchip yielded Jubb's information—in case you need another reminder of how important it is to microchip our pets.

Vets soon realized she needed a CT scan, MRI, and an operation to fix her broken bones, prompting the fundraiser, which was aided by Sheffield Wednesday.

"We were at the game where you entertained the crowd by invading the pitch and have eagerly followed [your] story," one donator wrote. "Wishing you a speedy recovery, Topsey."

The resilient cat has been through plenty, but she's at least eating plenty and purring constantly, Jubb says. Her broken bones, however, prevent her from walking properly. 

"She's eating loads and the vets can't fill her up," Jubb told ITV. "Touch wood she seems OK, but there's a fair way to go."