A cat known as the King of Ruddington was a no-show at his own birthday party despite hundreds of admirers attending.
Wilbur is famous in the Nottingham village for his visits to local shops, having left home of his own volition after his owner adopted two kittens.
And with his 10th birthday falling on July 7, locals decided to throw a fundraiser event on Sunday to not only celebrate the ginger cat’s decade of life, but also raise money for local charities.
The only problem was that Wilbur didn’t really feel like having a party that day.
“We all knew that he probably wouldn’t (attend) but that’s kind of why we like him, he’s his own cat,” Sarah Godfrey, who organised the bash, told PA.
“It’s just been such a lovely community event, we’ve done really well with the fundraising – we’re definitely going to be buying a new defibrillator.”
Wilbur’s original owner, Cathy Applebee, was certainly not surprised that he failed to show.
“It would be good if the cat had actually turned up, but he hasn’t,” she told PA. “It’s a few too many people for him, I think. But there’s a greater depth to it than just my cat. Ultimately we’re raising money.”
Despite Wilbur’s no-show, his face was nevertheless all over The Frame Breakers pub, where the party took place.
From a Wilbur cake to Wilbur masks, Wilbur biscuits to a special ginger ale brewed in his honour, the event attracted hundreds of admirers, including a choir.
“I think people are just a bit tired of what’s going on in the news and they just needed to have a silly party,” said Ms Godfrey. “But it’s not that silly because it’s raising money for a really good cause.”
As for Wilbur’s location at the time, reports suggest he was visiting one of Ruddington’s other public houses.
“He was in the Red Lion pub earlier but he’s not in there now,” said Ms Applebee during the event.
“I went down to see if he wanted to come and blow out his candles but I couldn’t find him.”