Netherfield Co-op cat 'tricks' shoppers to get more food

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Image copyright Caroline James
Image caption Staff have made a bed outside the entrance to stop Minnie sneaking into the store itself

Shoppers have been asked to stop feeding a "celebrity" cat who apparently turns "vile" when her owners try to keep her at home.

Minnie the tabby has worked out she gets treats if she hangs around the Co-op in Netherfield, Nottinghamshire.

She even injured herself jumping out of a window so she could get back there when her owners locked her in.

Her fans include the leader of the borough council, who stroked and fussed her on a visit to Netherfield.

'She tricks everyone'

But owner Andrea Blower said Minnie has a different side to her.

"She tricks everyone into feeling sorry for her," said Ms Blower.

"When we go and see her at the Co-op she's the nicest cat ever, but as soon as we get her home she's just vile.

"I think it's because we've tried to lock her in so many times."

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Minnie's home is about a one-minute walk from the shop, which she has been visiting for about a year.

She has a sister from the same litter, called Daisy, and they will be four years old in March.

Ms Blower used to bring Minnie home "about eight times a day" but has now given up.

"I go and check her two or three times a day but there's no point bringing her home because she scratches someone or bites someone and goes out the door again," Ms Blower said.

She hopes Minnie will be deterred from visiting the shop if people stop feeding her.

Staff have made a bed outside the entrance to stop Minnie sneaking into the store itself.

Store supervisor Jenny Winfield said "loads" of people only visit the shop to see Minnie.

"She just loves the attention," she said.

"We get customers coming to the counter and saying 'Can you give this to the cat?' and we say 'No'."

Image caption Customers regularly feed Minnie outside the shop

Caroline James, who lives in Netherfield, started shopping there regularly so she can see Minnie, who has become "a local celebrity".

"She's so beautiful," said Ms James, who has four cats herself and is known as Tiggs due to her love of felines.

"I go more or less every day. If I need something I will go to the Co-op so I can see Minnie.

"I said to them 'Have your takings gone up?' and they said yes, especially on cat food because everyone is buying her bits."

She said Minnie knows how to use the nearby zebra crossing and followed her across it into the post office.

"I think she's more intelligent than we give her credit for," said Ms James.

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Image caption Signs on Minnie's basket ask people not to feed her and to tell staff if she goes in the store

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