Beloved social media star Tom Garfield, a 12-year-old ginger kitty who burst into the public spotlight when photos of him hanging out at his local Cambridgeshire, UK supermarket went viral, passed away last week after being hit by a car in the parking lot next to the supermarket.Despite Tom Garfield's veterinarian's best efforts, the beloved kitty died on the scene.
More than 6,000 people followed the feline celebrity on his Facebook page, where his humans broke the news. Garfield, also known as Mr. Sainsbury, first set paw in the local market back in 2012. Soon he was visiting the store every day, becoming the business's unofficial mascot.He always had a purr or a headbonk for staff and customers, which endeared him to online audiences both far-flung and close to home.
His humans also wrote a book about Garfield—complete with Garfield's "pawtograph"—which sold out in less than an hour.
Lorena Brondani, a Cambridgeshire local and self-described "massive animal lover," has started a petition campaign to make cat hit-and-runs illegal in response to Garfield's death. "The death of Ely's beloved supermarket cat Mr Sainsbury's has highlighted the urgent need for a law to make it illegal to not stop and report if you have hit a cat," says Ms. Brondani. "Many cats are unfortunately hit by cars every day and then left to die and suffer on the side of the road. Leaving an injured animal to suffer is extremely cruel."
Dog hit and runs are already illegal in the UK.
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