Tibutes have been paid to a popular and much loved cat in Leigh Park after it had to be put to sleep at the weekend.
Known locally as the ‘Bus Stop Cat’, Missy, who was 12, would wait at the bus stop in Dunsbury Way and became a common sight to people using the number 39 bus.
Following her death, wellwishers have left flowers and notes at the bus stop.
Missy, the Bus Stop Cat
One of the tributes says, “It made my day when I used to see you at the bus stop. You always liked having your ears tickled and you were good company while I waited for my bus. Forever missed, sleeping where no shadows fall.”
Residents initially thought the cat had been attacked. However, a spokesperson from Downland Veterinary Group where Missy was treated confirmed that the injuries were consistent with being hit by a Vehicle.
A fundraising page has now raised more than £1400 which was initially set up to raise money towards a plaque and a reward to find what were thought to be attackers.
Following the incident, a family member of the cat owners, who are elderly and sick, spoke on their behalf. She said, “I’ve spent most of the weekend trying to console my parents following their tragic loss. My mother hasn’t stopped crying.
“I have since spoken to the vet who confirmed our earlier suspicions that the cat had been struck by a vehicle.
“We are very grateful for people’s generosity and kindness and for the shrine that has been created and thank people for raising the funds for a possible plaque.
“We would like to see any funds raised go to the PDSA as a donation.
“Missy will be greatly missed. She was a close member of our family and like a daughter to my mum. We would ask people to respect our privacy at this difficult time.”
A Hampshire Constabulary spokeswoman said: “We received a report of criminal damage on January 30.
“This related to a cat which had sustained injuries. The cat was subsequently put to sleep.
“It is believed the incident took place between January 28 and January 29.
“Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting 44160045690.”