AN ANDOVER resident who is hoping to commemorate a 'loving and gentle' railway station cat has said his plans for a life-size statue to be erected in its honour have gained momentum.  

As previously reported, 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.

A Facebook group called Jess the Andover station cat has been following its antics over the years and has more than 3,000 members.

READ MORE: Andover resident calls for statue to honour station cat

Andy Woods, 54, who used to work at S & J Maddocks, a funeral directors located near the station in Station Approach wanted a life-size statue of the feline be to put up at the station.

Andy has taken to the Facebook page to update residents. 

"I now have a sculptor lined up and am just waiting to hear back from a foundry as to the actual cost involved. Fingers crossed, we find out soon and we can get started!!," the post reads.

He has also asked residents to share their ideas about how they think the monument should be designed. 

Residents have been sharing their delight on Facebook, with many saying they would be happy to help raise funds.

Loll Woodthorpe posted: "That’s awesome!! I’m sure it won’t be cheap but I and many more people would be happy to donate, I reckon."

Meanwhile Julie Tranham posted: "Absolutely amazing news. I can’t wait to see what the finished product is like. I will definitely donate towards the statue. I loved Jess as much as my own cats".

Andy said: "It is really nice to see all the support because it was just an idea but its clear to see how much of an impact he had on everyones lives.

"It is lovely to see everyone get behind the idea and see something positive in the news because everyone had a lot of love for him. I have been up the station since Jess died and it just feels different so this statue would mean he could be there forever."

A station spokesperson added: "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."

READ ALSO: Tribute paid to much-loved Andover train station cat Jess

They continued: "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."  

Andy said a fundraising page is likely to be set up soon to raise money to cover the costs of erecting the statue. It has not been made clear how much it will cost. 

A spokesperson for South Western Railway said that "it’s great to see the affection from the local community".