HAVANT, HAMPSHIRE, UK – Missy the cat had to be put down by vets after sustaining injuries to the face and jaw.
A friendly cat, famed in a Hampshire town for greeting passengers at a bus stop, was subjected to a sickening attack which resulted in her death.
Thirteen-year-old ginger cat Missy suffered a fractured skull, broken jaw and also had all of her teeth knocked out — she was so badly-injured vets were forced to euthanize the animal.
Missy was somewhat of a local celebrity in Havant because of the many years she spent frequenting her very favorite bus stop in Dunsbury Road.
On Monday, the bus stop was flooded with drawings and floral tributes which were left by saddened commuters who used to pet the affectionate cat on their way to school, college and work.
Owner Richard McCormick said he noticed Missy was bleeding from the mouth upon returning home one day last week.
Mr McCormick, 72, rushed her to the vet, but her injuries were so severe she had to be put to sleep.
The retired railway worker from Havant, stated: “Missy was always at the bus stop, everyone that caught a bus from there knew her.
“It seems like somebody has given her a kicking which obviously isn’t a very nice thing to do.”
“Before the council built the bus shelter, she would lie down on the grass near the bus stop all day.”
“When the bus shelter was installed she would go down there and sit on the bench every day.”
“Missy loved the attention and was so friendly towards people who were waiting for the bus – I’m sure people liked stroking her as they waited.”
Tributes to the cat have since poured in on social media, and a JustGiving page was set up, so people could raise money for a plaque.
Idk if I can handle not seeing the bus stop cat on the way to college today, he used to make my morning every day omg???
— (@kxtepexrce) February 1, 2016
The poor bus stop cat from Leigh Park is a shocking story. Harsher punishments for animal abusers.
— Robert New (@robertnew50) February 1, 2016
a just giving page was put up to raise money for a plaque in honour of the bus stop cat to be put up
£500 in less than 12 hours
— Paige (@SaigePimmons) February 1, 2016
The Cat that used to sit at The park parade bus stop has died, literally broke my heart ngl???
— Charlotte Smith (@Charlotte_951) February 1, 2016
Can’t stop thinking about the bus stop cat who got beat to death, how people can be so heartless and vile is beyond me, so angry!
— Brooke Allen (@brookeallenn97) January 31, 2016
I’m more sad about the Leigh Park bus stop cat than I have been about anything in forever ?
— don’t @ me (@oakleycheung) January 31, 2016
Mr McCormick went on: “We got Missy about nine years ago, when she was three years old.
“On Friday, I called her in for her dinner and she stumbled into our back room.”
“My grandson went to get her out and he said she was bleeding from her mouth.”
“I took her to the vets and that was the end.”
“She had a fractured skull and her jaw was broken in two places. All of her teeth were knocked out.”
“The bloody swine, how can anybody do that to a poor little animal?”
Mr McCormick’s daughter, Karen Wells, 48, stated her parents were ‘devastated’ after their beloved cat had to be put down.
Missy was given to them after a friend’s brother asked them to watch her while he went to university and to make a long story short, they ended up keeping her.
Mrs Wells, of Waterlooville, Hants, states: “I found out when my mum texted me to tell me on Saturday afternoon.
“I rang her straight back, asked what had happened and tried to speak to my dad who was distraught.”
“Missy was about 12 or 13 years old and my parents have had her for nine years.”
“She was a very friendly cat, so friendly that sometimes my dad couldn’t get her indoors because she liked getting all the fuss outside.”
“My parents aren’t taking the news very well. They are distraught.”
“From what I can gather, all her teeth were out except two and one was hanging in by a thread, she had a hemorrhage behind one of her eyes, a fractured skull and a fractured jaw.”
“She had to be put down that day. The vets did not know whether they could save the eye and she was in a lot of pain and the best thing was to put her to sleep but my mum and dad were distraught.”
Mrs Wells reported the incident to the police.
She went on: “It is horrible. The person or people who did this need to be brought to justice.”
“I know there will be people saying ‘get a grip, it’s a cat’ but it’s a living creature. You do not kick and attack a defenseless animal.”
“It is not acceptable behavior, it makes me so cross to know not only what has been done to Missy but how it has impacted on my mum and dad.
“I just want somebody held accountable.
“That cat was not run over, somebody has kicked her or done something.”
She was shocked by the kindness of the people who are fundraising for the plaque, saying: “We could not believe it.
“My dad has said he doesn’t want any money, he’s happy for a a memorial plaque to go up if that’s what people want but any leftover money can go to a cat charity, rescue or sanctuary.”
“We did not know this was going to happen, not in a million years.”
“My son, Sonny, put up a status on Facebook in the hope that we could find who did it and it just went mental.”
One bus driver even left a message as a tribute for Missy, accompanied by a picture of her:
The message read: “Thank you for lifting my spirits every time I stopped my bus, you made me smile.”
The creator of the Just Giving page, Craig Cockram, states: “We would like to raise as much money as possible for a reward and a plaque for the 39 bus stop cat.
“This poor cat which was loved by many who just sat on a seat on the 39 stop in Dunsbury Way in Leigh Park.”
“It loved to be stroked and have the attention it liked and was the most trusting cat. For a few years it would just come along and sit and wait.”
“Towards the end off last week some thugs thought it would be great to use the poor cat as a football. Resulting in so many injuries it had to be put down.”
A Hampshire Police spokeswoman stated: “We received a report of criminal damage on January 30.
“This related to a cat which had sustained injuries consistent with an attack. The cat was subsequently put to sleep.”
“It is believed the incident took place between January 28 and January 29.”