Tribute bid for Livingston North station cat Keira
SHE was the beloved railway cat who warmed the hearts of hundreds of commuters on the platforms of Livingston North station.
For years, fluffy Keira affectionately brushed the ankles of waiting passengers and could be seen sprawling out in comfy alcoves across the West Lothian halt.
But following her untimely death this week, an outpouring of grief from her many fans has seen coffers of a feline welfare charity swell as cash rolls in to protect and rehome moggies less fortunate than the popular railway cat.
And now there have been calls to erect a permanent memorial in honour of Keira, who was so renowned she had her own Facebook page boasting more than 1200 likes.
The 11-year-old was killed crossing a road as she made her way home from one of her daily visits to the station.
Owner Kirsty Hendry said she had been overwhelmed by the public response, with flowers bearing the words “RIP Keira” even left at the line by a heartbroken mourner.
“She was our cat but we didn’t realise just how popular she was until she passed away,” said Mrs Hendry.
“The station was like her second home and the attention she got was unbelievable.
“I think if I was getting that much attention I might have started going there as well.”
A cat with an adventurous spirit, Mrs Hendry told how the moment a door was left ajar Keira would be “away again”.
“It was almost like she kept working hours and would head out at seven o’clock in the morning,” she said.
“She was lovely, she was very affectionate and would go to everybody which was the only worry.”
Dozens of photographs adorn the Keira The Livingston North Station Cat Facebook page, including several selfies with commuters who mistakenly believed she was a stray.
But in the days after her death, a swathe of tributes have been added.
Hazel Smith wrote: “Oh this is such a shame. I saw this kitty every day and she made me smile before work! Will be missed, Rest in paradise x.”
Fellow fan Tracy Wilkins wrote: “I took snacks for her every Saturday on my way to work.”
Meanwhile, calls for a permanent memorial at the station have gathered momentum and ScotRail has confirmed it would be open to mounting a fitting tribute to “mark her passing”.
Jill Mcintosh wrote: “A wee plaque at the station would be a lovely reminder for all who enjoyed her presence during their commute.”
Donations for the Cats Protection charity smashed the original £100 target, with more than £350 pledged in her memory.
Mrs Hendry said: “It’s amazing how a small furry thing can bring a community together like this. She was our cat and part of the family but she has obviously touched a lot of people.”
A ScotRail spokeswoman said: “We were sorry to hear about Keira the cat. We are working with the local team on ideas to mark her passing.”