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Borough pays tribute to beloved “Tilly the Bengal”

By Connor Steel

GOSPORT RESIDENTS have come together to pay their personal tributes following the tragic death of Tilly the Bengal on Friday morning; the pet cat becoming a popular member of the wider borough community for her highly mischievous and cheeky behaviour that brightened the days of residents travelling, visiting or shopping within the town centre areas.

The tragic update was announced by Tilly’s devastated owner, Caroline Oakes, who shared a post through a dedicated social media page entitled as “Tilly’s Gosport Adventures“. It was reported that she was hit by a moving vehicle close to the town centre before moving to a nearby garden with fatal injuries; a resident kindly taking the popular cat to the vets.

Hundreds of people have since shared this post and reached out to Tilly’s owner; many offering their personally ‘happy’ experiences and memories from their visits to Gosport. Tilly was often called the “police cat” due to her connection with local officers and was often seen in multiple stores across the High Street; including Morrisons, Argos and Specsavers.

Residents have been laying their floral tributes to Tilly in the area between Morrisons and KFC on Gosport High Street, which includes photographs and messages in her memory. A ‘fundraising’ page has further been created and has seen over two hundred individual donations; the amount currently over £2000 in just three hours in a ‘big’ outpouring of love.

It is hoped this money can be used to create a permanent memorial for Tilly in the town centre, with a discussion about a potential plaque or even a statue to be stationed in this area for residents. Tilly has previously been “idolised” in sand this year as part of an exhibition by the Gosport Museum and Art Gallery; which was visited by thousands this summer.

Readers can see more information and pay their own tributes to Tilly by visiting this social media page; which has been followed by over 3,500 people and includes a wide range of amazing photographs taken by her owner / local residents.

PICTURED BY TILLY’S GOSPORT ADVENTURES: Tributes are being paid to Tilly, who passed away early on Friday.