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Diary: Fond final farewell to feisty feline friend

Harvey with his range of Christmas cards
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Spare a thought for the good people of Strode Theatre in Somerset, who this week had to say goodbye to Harvey, the venue’s resident cat.

According to local press, Harvey set his sights on making Strode Theatre a home “after figuring out how to use the automatic doors to his advantage”, and became the “officially unofficial theatre cat”.

Before long, the local paper reports, he had the run of the place and “was frequently plucked off people’s laps in the bar, fished out of the auditorium and liked to keep an eye on the office staff, who even made him an honorary friend of Strode Theatre to ‘thank him for his interest in the establishment’.”

Well there’s a heartwarming tale if ever Tabard heard one. But it gets even warmer, dear reader.

When little Harvey needed an operation in February this year, it took just 24 hours to crowdfund the money needed to cover his vet bills.

Following news of his death, tributes poured in on the theatre’s Facebook page. One theatregoer wrote: “He WAS the theatre… he owned it! He will be greatly missed by so many.”

Tabard feels they may be exaggerating, as clearly a cat can’t own a theatre. But still, a touching gesture nonetheless.

Send stories to tabard@thestage.co.uk