Even if you’ve never been to Catford, you’ll have probably seen many an Instagram shot of its most prominent landmark – the giant fibreglass black and white cat, which has playfully hung over the sign for Catford Shopping Centre since the 1970s.
Over the last few years there’s been talk that Lewisham Council may demolish the iconic puss, which has often spilt aesthetic opinion in south east London, as part of plans to develop the town centre. The council are currently collecting comments from local residents to create a new master plan for the town, and in a bid to make sure the famous feline doesn’t disappear from the Catford skyline a petition has been created calling for the cat to be kept safe from redevelopment.
Sam Kennedy Christian, who created the petition on Change.org, is calling on people ‘to show Lewisham Council how many people care about the cat’, adding: ‘Love it or hate it, you can't disagree that the Catford Cat is an icon. Yet, there are people who would love to see it disappear in the upcoming redevelopment of the area.’
The petition has already garnered plenty of support in the Catford Town Centre comments forum, where residents can suggest ways they would like to see Catford improve. ‘Whatever the Catford Shopping Centre will be replaced with, the cat should be an integral part of it. It’s a great landmark and really sets Catford apart from the usual boring developments that could be anywhere,’ said one resident, while another said: ‘I admit that it is not the most exquisite of art pieces, but it sure does put a smile on my face and make me feel at home.’ Some have suggested letting local artists re-decorate the mouser, while others have called for more Catford Cats and ‘maybe some Catford Kittens too?’
However, not everyone shares the sentimentality for the Catford moggy. ‘Let’s be bold and get rid of the tacky, crappy cat!’ said one commenter, while another dubbed it an ‘eyesore’. Whatever your feelings you can have your say on the Catford Town Centre comments forum here.