Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Memorial unveiled in Havant for 'bus stop' cat Missy

cat sculpture Image copyright Lenny Rylatt
Image caption The popular ginger cat was found with "horrific injuries" near the bus stop where she was often seen

A sculpture has been unveiled in memory of a popular cat which frequented a bus stop in Hampshire.

Well-wishers from as far as the United States and Australia donated £5,000 towards the sculpture on the Leigh Park housing estate in Havant.

Missy was a regular sight for almost 10 years at the number 39 stop in Dunsbury Way.

She was found in January with "horrific injuries" after being run over or attacked and was put down by a vet.

'Touched lives'

Flowers, photos, children's drawings and messages were left at the bus stop bench where the 13-year-old ginger cat would often be found asleep or sitting on someone's lap.

Bus driver Craig Cockram raised £5,000 for the memorial, which attracted online donations and messages from around the world.

Image copyright Craig Cockram
Image caption The bus shelter became a shrine to the popular cat, attracting flowers and other tributes
Image copyright Craig Cockram
Image caption Children left messages at the bus stop where Missy was often seen

One donor from the US wrote: "Remember the joy and happiness you brought to those waiting for the bus over the years."

Samantha Hadaway wrote: "Bless you dear Missy for making people smile every day and only asking in return for some kindness. Such a senseless awful waste of a precious little fur angel's life".

Kristi, from the USA, posted: "God has a special place for Missy. She touched so many lives. I wish I'd known her."

Image copyright Craig Cockram
Image caption The cause of the 13-year-old ginger cat's death remains a mystery

The memorial bench made from oak, with a sequoia cat sculpture curled up at one end, was placed on a grass verge directly opposite Missy's favourite shelter.

The Mayor of Havant, Faith Ponsonby, who unveiled it, said the appeal's success was partly a sign of loneliness on the Leigh Park housing estate.

She said: "Not a lot of people are allowed to have pets and I have concerns that we need to look out for elderly lonely people.

"For children, to stroke her was something they could look forward to every day."

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