CATFORM Sapphie liked to greet commuters as they alight from their trains

A PLAQUE will be put up at Tonbridge railway station in memory of Sapphie, the much-loved station cat.

The 10-year-old piebald cat has passed away after a lump was found in her stomach.

In an outpouring of generosity from commuters and residents alike, a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to treat Sapphie reached its target within eight hours.

Jonathon Wilson, a member of staff at the FCB coffee shop next door to the station, had set up the appeal on the GoFundMe website.

He said: “I have been given the news that the cat that calls the station home could potentially be very unwell and she may need surgery to make her better.”

The £260 required for Sapphie to undergo a scan and blood test was soon reached, but she died before she could be treated. The figure later rose to more than £500.

Part of the sum will now be put towards a plaque and the remainder will be donated to charities that fight against animal cruelty.

Mr Wilson said on the funding website: “With a heavy heart I regret to inform you that the vets have come to the conclusion that the best thing for Sapphie is to be put to sleep.

“To everyone that has donated, we thank you all for all your help.”

Southeastern tweeted: “If you travel through Tonbridge I’ve some very sad news. Sapphie the resident station cat who we know many of you loved and adored, has passed away after an illness. We’re looking to create a plaque in her memory.”

Sapphie, short for Sapphire, used to live near the station on Barden Road and when her owners moved away, they thought it would be safer to leave her behind.

According to train co-ordinator Debbie Hanson, Sapphie had two beds – in the offices of the station manager and the supervisor – and had a particular penchant for clawing the coconut matting in the coffee shop.

Mrs Hanson said: “She just started hanging around here. A few of us started thinking we better get some food for her and got really attached.”

CAT NAPPING Sapphie had two beds in different offices at the station

Supervisor Jamie Good added: “She’s like our little extra helper. She makes herself known out on the platform and brings people together because everyone’s talking about her, getting treats for her, feeding her, buying her new beds and all sorts of stuff like that.”

Southeastern made a film about her as part of the company’s Amazing Journeys series, and she has her own Twitter feed. You can see the film here: