Norfolk

Tesco cat Pumpkin defies Norwich supermarket 'ban'

Cat on Tesco scanner Image copyright Annabel Fields
Image caption Pumpkin's microchip barcode clearly is not recognised by the scanner

A cat "banned" from entering his favourite supermarket is up to his old tricks and has been seen lounging on the self-service checkouts.

Ginger tom Pumpkin became an "unexpected item in the bagging area" of a Tesco branch near Norwich when he was spotted on the scanner on Sunday.

Almost 2,000 people follow the adventures of the mischievous moggy, who usually abides by the ban and stays outside the front door.

Tesco said it would encourage him out.

The six-year-old cat had been a regular in the Thorpe Marriott branch for well over a year before the shop took action last November, saying "although we love the little ginger cat who visits... a food store isn't the best place for a cat to be, so our colleagues gently encourage him to go out when he tries to come in".

A spokesman said it was not really possible for a store to ban a cat and admitted Pumpkin would probably continue his visits.

Image copyright Jo Harding
Image caption Pumpkin has been discouraged paying visits to the Tesco Express store in Norfolk

Although he is not really welcome inside, Pumpkin is seen most days loitering outside the sliding doors of the shop, which is close to where he lives.

Many of his Facebook fans make the trip specifically in the hope of bumping into him.

However, on Sunday night Pumpkin the puss was back in his favourite place, relaxing on the self-serve scanner.

A shopper who spotted him posted a photograph which now has dozens of comments, including many people celebrating the disobedient cat as a "rebel".

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Pumpkin's owner Jo Harding often pops to the shop after work and finds her wayward moggy outside.

She tells him to "come home for your tea" and he will trot after her.

However, his favourite place to hang out is still the shop and she does not think he will change his behaviour.

Reacting to the latest photograph of him, she said: "Pumpkin is taking no notice of his ban."

Image copyright Jo Harding
Image caption The six-year-old had been visiting the supermarket for about a year before his first ban
Image copyright Jo Harding
Image caption The cat has numerous Facebook followers

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