Pumpkin the cat ignores ban and is back in Tesco
PUBLISHED: 17:29 29 January 2020 | UPDATED: 09:01 30 January 2020
A Norfolk cat who captured the hearts of the nation has returned to his old haunt - despite a ban.
Pumpkin, a six-year-old ginger feline, would regularly take up residence in the Tesco Express on Acres Way in Thorpe Marriott where he could be seen lounging on the tills and perusing the aisles.
But staff labelled Pumpkin a "hindrance and a pain" and, in a move that hit headlines in November, announced the rescue cat had been banned from the store.
The response prompted an outpouring of support for the ousted moggy, with some customers threatening to boycott the store.
Now just two months later Pumpkin has flouted the ban and has been spotted back in his favourite spots in the store.
Owner Lee Harding, 50, said Pumpkin's refusal to abide by the rules came as no surprise as he was a diva.
Mr Harding, a boiler spares manager, added: "He has just given up fighting the ban as he just loves it there. In a way, I think he is just completely oblivious to it all and is a bit like 'what is going on'. But he does love the fuss, the more fuss the better for him."
But he added two months ago Pumpkin had to be fitted with a tracker as he kept going astray - and once ended up in the boot of a stranger's car.
Mr Harding added: "We got a call one evening from Taverham Vets saying that he had been dropped off by some people as he had been found in their car at the end of a trip. They only noticed him because he started crying. So the vets advised us to fit Pumpkin with a tracker.
"We needed to know where he had been going and it looks like he has been everywhere."
Tracking information has revealed Pumpkin often takes strolls to Taverham High School on Beech Avenue and School Lane in Thorpe Marriott.
Mr Harding said "He's a cheeky chap. But he's very streetwise and he knows how to pull the heart strings."
Pumpkin's popularity has spurned a 2000 strong member Facebook group which documents the cat's whereabouts.
Mr Harding added he had been inundated with well-wishing messages worldwide.