Stroud's resident cat Mabel lives among the shoppers in town centre

Stroud's resident cat Mabel lives among the shoppers in town centre

Perched on top of the records at Trading Post in Kendrick Street

Having a cat nap in the store room at Clarks shoe shop

Playing shop assistant at Trading Post record store in Kendrick Street

Mabel taking a cat nap at Moonflower Too

Helping with the daily paperwork at Trading Post in Kendrick Street

Mabel with her owner Ron Birch

First published in News Stroud News and Journal: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

IT'S a hard life for Stroud High Street's resident cat Mabel.

The four-year-old black puss spends her days visiting various stores in the town centre and can usually be seen lazing around in shop windows.

Mabel, a stray cat taken in by Ron Birch in 2009, crosses busy roads from her home in Belle Vue Road to the town centre every day and for the past two years her daily routine has delighted staff and customers alike.

She spends the night in Thomas Cook after clawing her way through the letterbox and waits for staff to let her out in the morning.

Tracey Linton, a travel consultant, said: "The auditors had quite a surprise when they went through our videos and saw a cat wondering around the store at night."

Then comes the difficult decision of where to go for breakfast.

Will it be Milletts, Shaws, The Works or one of the other High Street stores?

Maddie Freeman, shop assistant at Moonflower Too, said: "We leave a bowl of food for her in the stockroom. She usually runs straight up there."

When it's time for a mid morning catnap, the feline's favourite perch is in the window of Clarks shoe shop.

She also likes to visit the Shambles Market for peeled prawns from the fish stall and a slice of ham.

Her day wouldn't be complete without a visit to Trading Post record store on Kendrick Street.

Shop owner Simon Vincent said: "She makes lovely company when I am on my own doing paperwork."

The cat's owner Ron Birch said: "Mabel was pregnant when we found her and she started disappearing a few months after she had her kittens, but we kept bringing her back.

"Eventually she was spending more time away and less at home so we decided to support Mabel living in the town centre if that was her choice.

"So many people know her making it easy for us to keep track of her."

The cat now has a Facebook page and has more than 100 friends.

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