Tributes paid as celebrity cat Rupert of Bankton dies

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Tributes have been paid following the death of a famous cat who made headlines earlier this year when it was banned from its local supermarket.

Rupert of Bankton was a regular sight for customers at the Prestonpans co-op before a single complaint from a member of the public resulted in his being denied access to the store.

The Ginger Cat – which has its own Facebook page with more than 2,200 followers – was also a frequent visitor to a nearby carpet store as well as the city’s ambulance and train stations.

But fans of the six-year-old cat’s exploits are devastated after Rupert’s owner released sad news that the popular pet died on Saturday after being hit by a car.

A message posted on Rupert’s social media page reads: “I am deeply devastated to announce to all of you who loved him that Rupert was sadly killed in a traffic accident last night.

“What a funny cat he was, I’m sure you all agree.

“He’s lived his absolute best life.

“He’s back home in Bankton now.

“Thank you for loving him as much as we do.”

Hundreds of devastated locals have also used social media to honor Rupert and to refer to him as an “absolute legend”.

One wrote: “I’m so sad to read this message – we loved seeing Rupert when we went to the co-op and got a little hello from him. He was a real character and will be missed by many. ”

Another said, “I am sorry to read this sad news. It won’t be the same if you go to the cooperative and don’t see him there. ”

And a third added, “I’m really that upset about it – I loved his adventures. REST IN PEACE.”

Rupert was banned from his local co-op business in January after a single complaint was filed with the East Lothian Council’s environmental health department.

A council spokesman said at the time: “The environmental health agency received a complaint about a cat in the store and an environmental officer visited the premises and reminded the manager that animals are not allowed in grocery stores.

“We know the cat’s home is near the cooperative and the staff is asking that it not be encouraged by feeding.”

And after the ban, an employee at the store posted on social media about her disappointment at the loss of her regular celebrity visitor.

The post stated: “Due to a complaint about Rupert at the East Lothian Council, we regret to ask customers not to feed him outside of the store.

“Although we cannot tell you what to do outside of the store, we have to apply to the city council to do so based on the complaint.

“We all love Rupert at the store and are disappointed that the person couldn’t come and speak to us to raise their concerns and instead chose to refer us to the council.”