Pictures: Meet Milton Keynes celebrity cat Ada who spends her days hanging around shopping centre
A cat called Ada has become a mini celebrity at a shopping centre in Milton Keynes.
Tortoiseshell Ada has a perfectly comfortable and loving home, but chooses to spend her days at the Westcroft Centre – much to the delight of shoppers. She walks in and out of the shops as she pleases, greets customers, and takes a nap anywhere she fancies – whether it's in a shopping basket, on top of a till or in the middle of a shelf display. Ada has become so well-known and well loved by shoppers that she has her own Facebook page called Ada the Westcroft Cat. So far it has almost 1,000 members. The page has hundreds of photos of Ada in various poses, including sitting on shoppers' shoulders and refusing to budge from their trolleys. She is dubbed the Queen of Westcroft because of the way she patrols the shops and considers them her own. Her owner is happy to share her during opening hours, and has even made a special sign for her favourite resting places. It says: “Although Ada has a happy home and is well looked after, she enjoys meeting new people and exploring new places. If you see her, please be friendly, but don't feed her. If you see her near the shops at Westcroft, she's fine. If she's further afield, please give me a ring on the number on her collar.” It also warns that Ada is usually more than happy to be stroked but, in true tortie style, can get grumpy when she's woken from a nap. Shoppers are full of praise for Ada on social media. One woman wrote on her Facebook page: “ I was met and comforted by (I lost my mum last week) the beautiful Ada today. She approached me and gave me lots of nuzzles. Thanks Ada you were there just when I needed it x” Another said: “Ada brightens my days. She is beautiful and she always makes me smile.” Last summer, though, Ada caused a mass panic when she failed to appear at the shops for a while. Her owner posted a message explaining: “Ada's been at home for the past few days. She's been poorly and off her food. We took her to the vet this morning. She's on an IV drip to get rehydrated. Blood tests show nothing major wrong with her. “She'll be staying in the vet overnight and we'll see where we are tomorrow morning. Hopefully all will be well.” The news prompted dozens of get well wishes and pleas for updates from concerned fans. Within days Ada was pronounced fighting fit by the vet and was back at Westcroft, taking a ride a customer's shopping trolley and a tour round her favourite Jollyes pet store. Her owner, who has his number on Ada's collar, said he gets phone calls from people saying what a lovely cat she is. “It's nice to know Ada brings a little happiness to people,” he said.