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Was cheeky cat loved by community poisoned?

PUBLISHED: 09:22 27 February 2019 | UPDATED: 12:14 28 February 2019

Calcifer the cat who became a popular character in Long Stratton but who has died after a suspected poisoning. Picture: Dion Phillips

Calcifer the cat who became a popular character in Long Stratton but who has died after a suspected poisoning. Picture: Dion Phillips

Archant

The owner of a cat that became a much-loved community favourite for his unusual antics fears he may have died as the result of poisoning.

Dion Phillips had owned Calcifer the cat who became a popular character in Long Stratton since he was six weeks old. Picture: Dion PhillipsDion Phillips had owned Calcifer the cat who became a popular character in Long Stratton since he was six weeks old. Picture: Dion Phillips

Calcifer was a familiar sight to residents living around Suffield Close in Long Stratton and would frequently visit other homes to be fed or even sleep on people’s beds, becoming a popular local character.

But Dion Phillips, 30, who had owned the 22-month-old black and white cat since he was a six-week-old kitten discovered him dead outside his home on February 10. He believes the cat may have died as the result of poisoning.

Calcifer the cat who became a popular character in Long Stratton thanks to his antics including jumping into people's cars. Picture: Steve LarkinsCalcifer the cat who became a popular character in Long Stratton thanks to his antics including jumping into people's cars. Picture: Steve Larkins

He said: “I’m not 100pc sure it was poison however there were no marks on his body, and he was found laying in his usual place outside my home, the only injuries or symptoms I could see was blood from his mouth which is consistent with poisoning.

“I didn’t go into detail of having an autopsy conducted, but a cat that is hit by a car usually has its claws and pads badly cut or scraped and Calcifer had none of these.”

Calcifer the cat who became a popular character in Long Stratton thanks to his antics including visiting people's homes. Picture: Steve LarkinsCalcifer the cat who became a popular character in Long Stratton thanks to his antics including visiting people's homes. Picture: Steve Larkins

Mr Phillips has contacted neighbours to appeal for information and to let people know that they would be getting no more visits from the cheeky feline.

He said: “He was rather a local character he would let himself into people’s homes and cars. He liked to visit other houses, eat their cat food and sleep on people’s beds.

Dion Phillips with Calcifer the cat who had became a popular character in Long Stratton before his death from a suspected poisoning. Picture: Dion PhillipsDion Phillips with Calcifer the cat who had became a popular character in Long Stratton before his death from a suspected poisoning. Picture: Dion Phillips

“I know he had many friends in the area who he would visit from time to time, either for food a place to sleep or just somewhere to chill out while I was at work.

“He was known by most of the local residents of Suffield Close, and would often feature on the long Stratton Mardle Facebook page due to his activities.”

Calcifer the cat had  became a popular character in Long Stratton before his death from a suspected poisoning. Picture: Dion PhillipsCalcifer the cat had became a popular character in Long Stratton before his death from a suspected poisoning. Picture: Dion Phillips

Neighbours who received regular visits have expressed their sadness following his unexplained death.

Steve Larkins said: “We called him Felix after the advert. He could open our front door by jumping up and swinging on the handle. I told my partner but she didn’t believe me until he wandered in the house after she had closed the door. When he was ready he would just disappear out the cat flap. We kept it locked from the outside but it wasn’t unusual to see a sorrowful little face through the hatch in the morning. Whilst he wasn’t our cat he will be missed.”

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