HUNDREDS of pounds have been raised and flowers laid at a bus stop in memory of a much-loved cat which used to sit there.
There has been an outpouring of grief following the death of Missy, a ginger and white cat that would wait at the Dunsbury Way bus stop, in Leigh Park, as passengers got on and off the number 39 bus.
The family who owned her believe she was attacked and police say they are keeping an open mind about what happened after she was discovered with horrific injuries on Saturday night.
A spokeswoman from Downland Veterinary Group said the most likely cause of the injuries was a road traffic accident, but they did not rule out the possibility of Missy being attacked.
Flowers have been placed at her favourite spot as well as pictures drawn by children.
Well-wishers have also donated more than £1,300 in memory of the 12-year-old moggy, known as the Bus Stop Cat.
My grandparents are absolutely devastatedKelsey McCormick
Missy’s owners, Rick and Claire McCormick, were too upset to speak to The News, but their granddaughter Kelsey McCormick, 18, said her grandad was heartbroken when the vet told him the pet could have been killed deliberately.
‘My grandparents are absolutely devastated,’ she said.
‘Her injuries were really bad. She had a broken jaw and fractured skull. She was my grandparents’ little companion.’
Bus driver Craig Cockram, 48, set up a Just Giving page to raise cash to pay for a either a reward if it turns out the cat was attacked, or a plaque in its memory with any surplus going to animal charities.
He said: ‘It brought tears to my eyes when I found out what had happened.
‘She was a fantastic cat. Everyone loved her. From the students on their way to college, to people getting on the bus for work.
‘Everyone knew her and loved her because she was so affectionate.
‘She wouldn’t bat an eyelid at people coming up and stroking her. In fact she would go and sit on their laps.
To make a donation go online at crowdfunding.justgiving.com/39busstopcat.
Anyone with information about how the cat got its injuries should call police on 101 quoting 44160045690 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.