Heartbreak as Robert the allotment cat in Birmingham ‘killed by dog’

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A Birmingham cat who has built a huge following on social media and led a campaign to keep access to the allotments where he lives has died. Robert the allotment cat, lived in Walsall Road Allotments in Perry Barr, and it was feared he would be abandoned when Birmingham City Council imposed a car ban this summer during the Commonwealth Games.

There would be periods when cars would not be allowed on the allotments ‘for safety reasons’. Allotment users have expressed concern and a petition has received nearly 3,000 signatures demanding car access to the site, to feed Robert and his comrades and water the plants.

But Robert the Volkscat was murdered ‘by a dog’ on Friday, April 8. Betty Farrugia, who runs the cat’s 40,000-strong Twitter account, wrote: “Robert’s human here – I have some truly devastating news to share. My beautiful Robert has been murdered. I’m too angry to write about it. It just happened this afternoon.”

read more : Allotment garden users furious about car ban during summer

The Tweet has sparked a lot of reactions. Captain Mánkas said: “This is so sad. Dear Robert, we will miss you terribly. Run free buddy, our Angel friends welcome you to The Rainbow Allotments.”

George The Stourbridge Junction Station Cat said: “My sincere condolences to you. It is with sadness that I hear this tragic news. Thank you Robert for all the smiles you gave me and so many. Big hugs to Roberts Hooman.”

Alyson Meadowcroft said: “I can’t imagine how everyone at the Allotments is feeling right now, especially you, Betty. All I can say is that Robert’s memory will live on and he will now be safe with Ken and GG. He will have been waiting for them this afternoon.”

The allotments of Walsall Road

Betty Farrugia, the custodian of the allotments and runs Robert’s Twitter account, told ITV that her feline friend had shown up five years ago and was “very nervous”. But soon became “the most friendly cat you can imagine” and befriended complete strangers.

Last month, she said it seemed like the city council “didn’t care” given their plans for a car ban. She had said: “More than 80 percent of the [around 110] parcel holders depend on a car to get to the allotments – many are elderly and some have mobility problems. Apart from the cats, people will grow plants. For people with greenhouses – especially if it is dry during the day – the plants must be watered.

“With the cats – we rely on people from the allotment to feed them and monitor their medical condition. We need people every day to notice things. I agree that the Games are important, but so are we.”

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