The death of a cat who was a familiar sight at a bus stop in Leigh Park will be remembered in an unusual but fitting way.
12-year-old Missy, known as the ‘Bus Stop Cat’ was a regular at the stop in Dunsbury Way where people catch the no 39 bus. Last week, she had to be put to sleep after what vets believe was the result of being struck by a vehicle.
Her passing provoked an outpouring of grief in the community and the bus stop became a shrine with flowers and tributes to the much loved moggy.
Stagecoach bus driver, Craig Cockram, who often saw Missy at the bus stop, was so upset by the news that he set up a fundraising page for a plaque in her name which has raised over £4000.
Now Stagecoach bosses have gone one step further and agreed to name a bus after her after Craig approached them with the suggestion.
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Craig, who has lived in Leigh Park all his life, said, “They were a bit unsure at first but once they had seen the many positive comments, they were more than happy to go ahead with it. I just thought it would be a nice gesture.”
When the incident first happened, the owners believed that the injuries were caused by an attack but it was later confirmed that being hit by a vehicle was the most probable cause.
In the meantime, donations are continuing to come in and Craig has been ‘gobsmacked’. He said, “We thought we would raise a few hundred quid. We put £500 as the target but didn’t think we would get that. We’ve had donations from all over the world, it’s crazy.
Now Craig is waiting to hear from Hampshire County Council about the erection of a plaque or similar memorial and said, “There will be money left over which will be going to animal charities which the owners of Missy will choose.”