Train stations and faithful animals go hand in hand: think Roy, the dog who wouldn't leave Euston station, and Slough's 'Station Jim' — who you can still meet (although he doesn't say much these days).
Add to that furry roster Lily, the Penge East station cat. The locally-renowned feline, who died in December 2020, was a mainstay of the south east London station, keeping guard at the ticket office and balancing on the Oyster reader.
Penge East station now accepting payment in sardines. pic.twitter.com/lF9B6tHSX8— Matthew Sweet (@DrMatthewSweet) October 26, 2017
Now, a £2,500 fundraiser has been set up, with the goal of erecting a small bronze statue of Lily in the station. Says fundraising organiser, Helen Hughes:
Lily was a quirky, independent feline who touched the hearts of many. Without sounding too ridiculous, we think she symbolised our sense of fun, community and provided a bit of familiar comfort and affection before and after our travels.
The statue would be created by a young local artist, and any excess money raised will go to Celia Hammond's cat rescue charity, where Lily was once looked after. You can make a donation or buy a Lily the Cat 2021 calendar.