For several years, commuters in Hampshire, England, could always count on seeing a familiar face while they waited for the Number 39 bus. Missy, a 12- or 13-year-old orange and white cat, had been a longtime fixture at the bus stop, and was beloved by the passengers who scratched her ears before they started their workdays. Sadly, Missy reportedly was recently struck by a car and suffered injuries that were so severe she had to be put down.
In the days since her death, the bus stop has become a shrine for the cat, as broken-hearted commuters have brought flowers, handwritten notes and even drawings to memorialize her.
“It made my day when I visited to see you at the bus stop,” one note quoted by The Mirror read. “You always liked having your ears tickled and you were good company while I waited for my bus. Forever missed.”
Perviously, it was believed the cat had been brutally kicked to death, but now veterinarians have confirmed Missy was a victim of a hit and run, possibly while on her way home, according to The Mirror.
A JustGiving crowdfunding campaign has also been launched, with the goal of purchasing a permanent plaque honoring Missy.
“We would like to raise as much money as possible for a plaque and the remaining monies going to charity for the 39 bus stop cat,” the campaign’s founder wrote.
As news of Missy’s death — and what she meant to the community — has spread, the campaign’s modest £500 ($730) fundraising goal has long been exceeded. At the time of this writing, more than £4,220 ($6,160) has been donated in her honor.