- October 23, 2017
Wilf the cat, a much-loved resident of Fiveways, who attracted thousands of tributes when he died, is to be honoured with a bus named after him.
The fluffy persian melted the hearts of all those he encountered during his nine years of roaming the streets of Fiveways.
He even became an internet sensation thanks to his Facebook page where fans would post their encounters with the ginger cat.
Following Wilf’s death last week, he received thousands of tributes from both his local fans in Fiveways and from his fans across the globe.
Now the moggy loved by so many is to be honoured by Brighton and Hove Buses. The bus company is to name one of its number 46 buses after him.
The move comes after Wilf’s fans contacted the bus company to bestow the special honour on Wilf for making the people of Fiveways smile.
Wilf’s owner, Johanna Burley, who adopted the rescue cat, said she was delighted with the tribute. “We got the phone call on Thursday to say that next week one of the buses will be renamed Fiveways Wilf.
“It doesn’t matter if you have two legs or four legs, if you do something good in the community, you can have that feel-good factor.”
The tribute is a rather fitting one. Wilf regularly travelled on the number 46 when he attended a vet in Hove. He declined the cat box, choosing instead to sit on his owner Johanna’s lap.
Wilf also raised hundreds of pounds for charity Lost Cats Brighton by posing for Christmas cards and badges, bought by fans as far as Japan.
Mike Cheeseman, marketing officer at Brighton and Hove Buses, said: “To be considered to have a bus named after you, you have to be dead, and have made a contribution to Brighton and Hove.
“In Wilf’s case it is a bit different in the way he was an internet sensation, and there have already been 2,000 likes on Facebook at the suggestion of a Fiveways Wilf bus.”
The first journey of the Fiveways Wilf bus is expected to happen on Wednesday morning, travelling from Southwick to Hollingbury.
Other honours on the cards are life-size paintings of Wilf on the walls of his Fiveways spots, including The Flourpot Bakery, The Fiveways Pub and Beaumonts Estate Agents.
Wilf’s owner, Johanna, added: “Hopefully people waiting for the bus on a rainy day will smile when they see the Fiveways Wilf bus coming along.”
By Clare Calder