RIP Rupert: Owner mourns rebel cat who was banned from East Lothian supermarket
Tributes have been paid to a celebrity cat who hit the headlines earlier this year after he was banned from his local supermarket.
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Rupert of Bankton was a regular sight for customers at the Co-op store in Prestonpans, East Lothian, before a solitary complaint from a member of the public saw him barred from entering.
The ginger moggy - who has his own Facebook page with more than 2200 followers - was also a frequent visitor to a nearby carpet shop and the town’s ambulance station and railway stations.
But fans of the six-year-old puss’s exploits have been left devastated after Rupert’s owners posted the sad news the popular pet died on Saturday after being struck by a car.
A message posted on Rupert’s social media page reads: “I am utterly devastated to have to tell all of you who loved him, that very sadly Rupert was killed outright in a road traffic accident last night.
“What a fun cat he was, I’m sure you’ll all agree. He lived his absolute best life. He’s back home at Bankton now.
“Thank you all for loving him as much as we did.”
Hundreds of devastated locals have also taken to social media to pay tribute to Rupert describing him as “ an absolute legend”.
Fiona Flanagan posted: “I’m so sad to read this news - we loved seeing Rupert when we visited the Co-op and getting a wee hello from him.
“He was a real character and will be missed by many.”
Pauline Murdoch said: “So sorry to read this sad news. Won’t be the same going to the Co-op and not seeing him there.”
And Fiona Aitken added: “I’m actually so upset about this - I loved his adventures. RIP.”
Rupert was banned from his local Co-op store in January after a single complaint was made to East Lothian Council’s environmental health department.
A council spokesperson said at the time: “ Environmental health received a complaint about a cat being in the store and an environmental health officer visited the premises and reminded the manager that animals are not permitted on food premises.
“We understand the cat’s home is close to the Co-op and that staff are requesting that it isn’t encouraged by feeding it.”
Following the ban a member of staff at the store posted on social media at their disappointment at losing their regular celebrity visitor.
The post said: “Unfortunately, due to a complaint made to East Lothian Council environmental health about Rupert, we’re having to ask customers not to feed him outside of the store.
“While we cannot dictate what you do outwith the store, we’re having to request this due to the complaint made to the council.
“We all love Rupert at the store and we’re disappointed said person couldn’t come and speak to us to voice their concerns and instead decided to refer us to the council.”