Heartbreak as Robert the housing estate cat in Birmingham ‘killed by a dog’

A Birmingham cat who built up a huge following on social media and led a campaign to maintain access to the housing estates where he lives has died. Robert the housing estate cat lived in the Walsall Road housing estates in Perry Barr, and it was feared he was being abandoned when Birmingham City Council imposed a car ban during the Commonwealth Games this summer.

There would be times when cars would not be allowed in housing estates “for safety reasons”. Allotment users have raised concerns and a petition received nearly 3,000 signatures demanding car access to the site, to feed Robert and his friends as well as to water the plants.

But Robert the housing estate cat was killed on Friday April 8 “by a dog”. Betty Farrugia, who runs the 40,000-person giveaway Twitter account, posted: “Robert is human here – I have some truly devastating news to report to you. My beautiful Robert has been killed. I’m too upset to write to this subject. It only happened this afternoon.

Read more : Housing estate users furious over summer car ban

The Tweet elicited a huge response. Captain Mánkas said: “It’s so sad. Dear Robert, we will miss you terribly. Run free mate, our Angel buddies will welcome you to the Rainbow Allotments.

George The Stourbridge Junction Station Cat said: ‘My heartfelt condolences to you. I am so saddened to hear this tragic news. Thank you Robert for all the smiles you gave me and so much. Big sweet hugs for Roberts Hooman.

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

Walsall Road housing estates

Betty Farrugia, who is the housing estates site manager and runs Robert’s Twitter account, told ITV her feline friend arrived five years ago and was “very nervous”. But he quickly became “the friendliest cat imaginable” and befriended complete strangers.

Last month, she said it was as if the city council “didn’t care” given her car ban plans. She said: “More than 80% of [around 110] plot owners are dependent on a car to get to the estates – many are elderly and some have mobility issues. Apart from cats, people will have plants growing. For people with greenhouses – especially if it is dry during the day – the plants need to be watered.

“With the cats, we have to rely on people in the housing estate to go feed them and monitor their health. We need regular people there every day to notice things. I agree that the Games are important, but so are we.

Regarding the car ban requests, Dominic Olliff, Birmingham 2022 Venue Director, said: “Games partners have had regular conversations with tenants of the Walsall Road housing estates and have also visited several occasions. Access to prizes will be maintained throughout the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.”

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