Village unveils a blue plaque for ‘famous’ cat killed by a car

Theo the cat died aged seven after he was run over by a driver (Picture: SWNS)

Villagers have paid tribute to a ‘famous’ cat killed by a driver in their village by unveiling a blue plaque in his memory.

Theo has been described as a ‘true gent’ after a decision was made to immortalise the seven-year-old cat killed in a car accident last month in Boughton-under-Blean, Kent.

The cat was 15-year-old Ashley Hammond-Miller’s pet and was adored by everybody who met him.

Theo’s memorial reads: ‘Theo. A cat in a million. Rat catcher, hero and legend.

‘A true gent roams on.’

A small gathering was held by the locals who placed flowers by the sign which was unveiled by John Barnes.

Ashley’s granddad Derek Hammond, 74, said: ‘He’s always had a bit of wanderlust and used to disappear for a couple of days, now and again.

‘Then it just gradually got more and more.

The plaque that has been unveiled in Theo’s memory (Picture: Crispin Whiting/SWNS)

A young Ashley with her kitten Theo (Picture: Claire Hammond-Miller/SWNS)

Local lay flowers for Theo following his death (Picture: Crispin Whiting/SWNS)

‘He built himself up quite a fan base around the village.

‘We got reports on a fairly regular basis where people would phone me up and say, “Derek, Theo is here”, so I’d go and pick him up and bring him home.

‘He’s a bit of a vagabond.

‘Unfortunately one night he was trying to cross the road, and this car hit him and didn’t stop.

‘John used to look out for Theo and would defend him if anyone put something negative about him on Facebook.

‘When his wife phoned him the morning after Theo had passed away and told him what had happened, he cried his eyes out.’

Derek and Ashley with Theo after he was hit by a car (Picture: Claire Hammond-Miller/SWNS)

Ashley’s mum Claire said: ‘It’s absolutely beautiful. John is an amazing man.

‘Ashley has really found comfort in it.

‘He was bought for her and is her cat but in the last two years he has become a wanderer.’

She recalled the moment it happened and added: ‘We heard a bang and saw the car speed off.

‘It hit him twice because the car dragged him forwards and then went over him again.

‘We looked back on CCTV and the car was going at least 45 miles an hour.

‘I would like to urge people not to speed through the village to avoid something like this happening again.’

The Road Traffic Act 1988 states it is not an offence to leave the scene if you have run over a cat, something the family wants changed.

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