AN ANDOVER resident is hoping to raise £5,000 to commemorate a 'loving and gentle' railway station cat and erect a bronze life-sized statue in its honour.

As previously reported, Jess lived at Andover railway 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: Plan to honour Andover's station cat moves forward

Andover Advertiser: Jess lived at the station for 13 years after being abandoned by its previous owners who moved away

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

Andy has now set up a fundraising page to raise money to erect the bronze statue of the cat. At the moment of writing, more than £1,000 has been donated. 

On the page Andy has posted: "Jess, as we all know, was a much-loved cat and friend to many. His loss has been felt by many, and the aim of this fundraiser is to ensure that he will always be remembered.

"So that no weary traveller will ever feel alone, Jess will bid you farewell and welcome you home."

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

Sara Cole posted: "This is wonderful and amazing that it’s all underway so soon. I can’t wait to see Jess at the station again."

While Claire Procter posted to say she had donated, added: "Thank you for organising Andrew. Will be such a lovely tribute."

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

SEE ALSO: Andover resident calls for statue to honour station cat

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."

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."  

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

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