The death of a beloved cat in Bury St Edmunds who ‘captured the hearts’ of residents has caused widespread grief on his home estate.
Merlin, a characterful six-year-old tabby cat, was run over in St Olaves Road on Tuesday morning to the shock of many on the Howard Estate.
His owner Leigh Crome, of St Olaves Road, said: “He caputured everyone’s hearts. Everybody loved him, and he had them all eating out of his palm.
“He wasn’t one for a lot of affection, but he would want a snuggle now and again. And he didn’t miaow, he talked – he had a really distinctive voice.
“He came from a loving home. We adopted him three years ago, but he is a rural cat and has always roamed free.”
Leigh said her friendly feline spent time in many of the estate’s shops, with the post office, Martins and Spar all keeping boxes for him to sleep in.
“He was very cheeky, definitely the ‘don’ cat of the area. Every time I went to the shops there was another story about his escapades,” she said.
Nicola Millington, a supervisor in the post office, said: “I was devastated. Merlin was like a member of our team.
“He had been coming into the shop since last year. He became part of the furniture.
“The customers loved him. I think he just liked the company of people.”
Nicola said Merlin took to sleeping on the counter, on a blanket knitted for him by a customer.
She said: “We’ll really miss him, he was such a character.”
Although nothing was reported to the police, residents are trying to find the driver responsible for Merlin’s death.
Leigh said: “Hopefully now someone will feel they can come forward and at least apologise.”
Susanne Game, of Eagle Walk, said: “The Howard Estate at the moment seems very sad. It was a lovely looking cat.
“It will be strange going in the post office and it not being there.”
Residents are aiming to raise funds to place a commemorative plaque to Merlin in the precinct.
Leigh has asked for anyone who saw the accident or knows anything about it to get in touch on 07584 355895.