A 'LOVING and gentle' cat which called Andover train station home has died.

Jess lived at the station for 13 years after being abandoned by its previous owners who moved away from the area.

The decision was made to put Jess down after it was confirmed the feline had cancer and staff have now paid tribute.

A spokesperson for the station said: "Anyone who has used Andover train station in the past would have undoubtedly come across Jess upon their travels, whether it be huddled up in the ticket office with the staff or roaming the platforms keeping passengers company whilst they waited for the next stage of their journey.

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"Jess came to us 13 years ago when he was around seven-years-old after his owners moved from their house across from the station and left him behind. He then lived at the station watching the comings and goings of railway life throughout my time working for South West Trains/South Western Railway."

The feline was loved by all staff who worked at the station and they told the Advertiser they are currently discussing ways in which they can commemorate the cat.

"He was a welcome face for so many of our customers over the years, who were all very generous with donations of food, treats, helping towards vets bills and even filling up his stocking at Christmas," the spokesperson added.

The spokesperson continued: "Unfortunately, a month ago we noticed a growth on Jess, which was inconclusive after a biopsy. With Jess being a roaming cat and his age, we couldn’t put him through surgery as it wouldn’t have been fair to him and he wouldn’t have understood why he couldn’t go outside. The growth had increased in size he wasn’t himself. He couldn’t get comfortable and went off of his food.

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"After taking him to the vet, the vet confirmed that it was cancer and that an additional growth had formed in his abdomen. The kindest thing we could do for Jess at that point was to have him put to sleep so he wouldn’t suffer anymore

"Although Jess looked grumpy and wasn’t always photogenic, he was such a loving and gentle boy who wanted nothing more than to sit on your lap and get lots of cuddles and ear scrunched."

Staff feel that "the station won’t be the same without him" and "they will all miss him immensely".