A cat seen regularly around Morrisons supermarket over the past few weeks has become a local celebrity with over 1,000 fans – who are now organising her a special Christmas hamper.
Charlie may be the most popular puss in Derbyshire, with almost 1,500 likes on Facebook and a loyal fan base who love taking selfies with her to post online.
The friendly feline was first noticed in Morrisons car park two weeks ago and since then shoppers look forward to saying ‘hello’ while collecting their groceries.
Sympathy grew for Charlie after residents were unsure if she was homeless – leading some to organise donations of food and toys to the store.
But Belper News has ben told Charlie has a home and is simply a friendly and adventurous kitty.
After seeing how much affection Charlie was receiving online, James Nolan, 18, of Dalley Lane started a Facebook page for the sociable moggy.
Starting his online presence only two weeks ago Charlie now has almost 1,500 followers.
James said: “Charlie is bringing people to Morrisons. Shoppers look out for her and she is attracting people to the store. She’s had Likes on Facebook from people in Spain, I think that is saying something.
“Even though she is just a cat, Charlie has become an icon.”
But James confirmed that Charlie has a loving home.
He said: “She’s so friendly and relaxed.”
Fan Naomi Higham Garner said: “He’s a legend, I love him the cheeky chap.”
Caroline Lee added: “I gave him a fuss this morning as he was sprawled out on the bonnet of a car in the car park.”
One fan online urged shoppers to donate their food and toys to rescue centres and charities instead.
She said: “Charlie has a home and is, by the look of him, very well looked after.
“There are many, many other cats and dogs who are less lucky and who need your aid far more.”
Mary Tong from Belper said: “There’s lots of less fortunate kitties about that really need our help but he can be the mascot and poster boy.”
General manager of the store on Chapel Street, Andy Dixon, said: “Customers tell us they love being greeted by Charlie as they go into the store. He’s a real character.
“He knows he’s not allowed into the store itself, but now and again we’ve got to gently usher him out when he makes a break for the tills or Market Street.”
This is not the first time a Morrisons store has found itself with a feline mascot. The Saltney store had a cat called Brutus who liked to visit shoppers.