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It's a cat's life for station pet George

By Mark Andrews | Stourbridge | News | Published:

It's a hard job, but someone's got to do it. And George the Station Cat seems to have taken to his role like a duck to water since starting work at Stourbridge Junction railway station 18 months ago.

And George has become quite a star on social media, attracting 1,387 followers on Facebook as he settled into his role.

Station supervisor Ian Tomlinson said the first-class feline first snuck his way into the station about Christmas time 2017.

"He's been in the booking office ever since," he added. "He goes home at night, but he's back here every afternoon."

George now has his own bed and personal cushion in the station, and his daily adventures are regularly recorded on Facebook by his many fans.

Promotion duly followed when he was appointed senior mouse catcher and was given his own name badge.

He spends most afternoons keeping an eye on proceedings from his favourite vantage point on top of a filing cabinet.

"We don't know who started the Facebook page, but even schools have posted pictures of George when they have been on a school trip to the station," said Ian.

The 1st Wordsley Cubs also paid George a visit during a trip on the Stourbridge Shuttle link.

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George's owner, who asked not to be named, said she took him in as a rescue cat back in 2016, when he was seven months old. He had previously lived in Swansea, where he was known as Hunter, but he moved to Stourbridge when his original owner could no longer look after him.

"He seems to get a lot of fuss from the passengers, people have dropped all sorts of things off for him, he's got his own little bed and bowl, and toys."

George is the latest in a long tradition of railway station cats, and Ian said he had worked with a number of them during his 49 years on the railways.

"Most of them were in the 70s and 80s, they used to give you an allowance to feed them in those days because they kept the mice at bay," he said.

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"We had ones called Smokey and Scampi at Smethwick West, and one called Georgie at Langley. He lived to a ripe-old age, he was about 18 or 19."

While station cats aren't as commonplace as they once were, there are still a few dotted around the country.

Percy is a popular figure at Okehampton station in Dartmoor, while in Huddersfield there is a station cat called Felix.

Mark Andrews

By Mark Andrews
@MAndrews_Star

Senior news writer for the Shropshire Star specialising in in-depth features and commentary, investigative reporting and political matters.

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