A STRAY cat has become a celebrity in Taw Hill after making himself at home in the local shops.

Bob the cat was rescued by Claire Edwards and her family a year ago when he started popping through the cat flap in her house. But every time he spotted the mum-of-two, who owns two other young cats, he ran away.

Claire said: “One time I saw he had a tick on his head so I knew no one was taking care of him, so I started to put food out for him.

“He was a bit scared and nervous at first but not any more. Then he moved in with us and we look after him. As soon as I could I took him to the vets who sorted him out and since then he’s lived with us.

“He was all dirty and he had a couple of ticks and he hadn’t been castrated. Most cats are castrated at about six months old or so, that’s what the vet said, so we knew he hadn’t been treated very well. The vets think he is about six or seven years old.”

A few months ago, Claire noticed that Bob had started to wander around the shops in Taw Hill, sitting on the mat outside the Co-op and walking into the Co-operative Pharmacy and the other shops in the village centre.

Claire said: “I used to go and get him when he wandered off, just because I was worried about what he was doing.

“But now he has his breakfast and then at about 10am he wanders off to the shops.

“They love having him in the hairdressers and the estate agents give him some water now and again.

“I don’t know why he does it. Some one said it’s because of all the attention he gets. Everyone knows him, that’s how I know all my neighbours.

“I usually go and get him when I pick the children up from school, just because there are quite a lot of cars there around that time.”

Harriet Maltby, a resident of the area, said that Bob had become a bit of a regular feature around the village centre.

The 24-year-old said: “I think it’s really cute. You often see him by the Co-op sitting outside the doors and waiting for them to slide open, when he goes through and just sits on the mat. Staff are forever picking him up and putting him outside.

“He seems fascinated with the automatic doors. He just sits there and watches them.

“The staff probably get a bit annoyed but you often see him outside lying in the sun.

“He has definitely become a feature of the local community.”