A quadriplegic cat with a fascination for watching Pendolino trains has become the official mascot for Lancaster train station.
Sir Toby Toblerone, owned by Julie and Stephen Wilding, has no feeling from the neck down and has to be carried around and cared for in the same way a disabled human would.
But twice a week, Sir Toby visits Lancaster train station with Stephen to watch the trains, particularly the Pendolino which he finds particularly fascinating, according to Julie Wilding.
Because members of staff have got to know Toby on his station visits, they decided to crown him their official mascot.
To top it off, they offered Toby and his owners a free trip on a Virgin Pendolino train, first class, anywhere in the country. Owner Julie Wilding said: “Sir Toby will be going to Penrith first class on Monday evening with Stephen my husband and Eileen Evans from Cats Protection. It will be a great experience for them.”
Sir Toby was found lying in a garden unable to walk when he was six months old.
Cats Protection took him to the vets and he was found to have no broken bones but it was a mystery as to how he got there and how he became unable to walk.
Julie said: “The vets decided it could be a temporary paralysis and we should give him a chance. He came to us in April 2014 for foster care and we adopted him. He is now around two years-old and hasn’t deteriorated further but can’t move from the neck down.
“He has control of his bowels and bladder and goes on a litter tray.
“He sleeps next to me in bed and I hold his front paws until he goes to sleep.
“We have no idea of his life expectancy but he has a decent quality of life.
“I can’t tell you how much we love him, he is very special because he needs that extra care and attention.”
Julie, 49, who is agoraphobic, and her husband Stephen, 56, live on Westbourne Place, Lancaster.
Julie said: “I never wanted any children, just cats. I’m so lucky that Toby came into our lives.”
Sir Toby Toblerone has his own Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Sir-Toby-Toblerone. A spokesperson for Virgin Trains said: “Sir Toby is very much one of the team at Lancaster. When it comes to trains he’s your cat!”