Meet Percy - the cat who travels by train to watch the fish at marine life centre

THE owners of an adventuring cat which regularly catches a train to Scarborough marine-life sanctuary to watch the fish said today it would be enjoying its new-found celebrity status.

Percy the cat has become the most famous pet in Scarborough, after it was revealed that he often leaves his home on Green Howard's Drive and travels to the Sea Life Centre by rail.

The six-year-old animal spends the day watching the fish and penguins before hopping back on to the miniature North Bay Railway train when it is time to go home.

Today, Percy's owners, Anne and Yale Michael, were surprised to see an article about their pet's travels in their local paper - the Scarborough Evening News.

But Mrs Michael, 51, said Percy would take his new status as a tourist attraction in his stride.

"He enjoys all the attention," Mrs Michael said.

"He's lovely; a really big, friendly cat. He's very, very independent, comes and goes as he wants in the summer. But in the winter he spends most of his time on my bed asleep, preparing for the next season."

Mrs Michael said Percy had been making the 0.75 mile train journey for around five years and was so well known at the railway he has his own piece of carpet at the station to sleep on.

"He seems to know when to get on and off the train," she said.

"Then he goes to the Sea Life Centre, where he seems to go to look at the penguins. He just watches them and the fish."

Tamsin Mutton-McKnight, general manager at the Scarborough Sea Life Centre, said Percy likes to sit on a wall near the entrance and sneak in with the crowds but had never been any trouble.

She said: "The penguins don't like him very much but he'll just plonk himself down, watching the fish in the tanks. He's more well-behaved than some visitors sometimes. He never tries to get into any of our tanks, even though some have open tops, and we never have any problems with him.

"It's just a shame he scares the penguins."

Phil Hart, a guard on the North Bay Railway, which has been operating from Peasholm Park to Scalby Mills since 1931, said: "Percy comes down every day. He just hops on and hops off the train and knows exactly what time the trains are. The train passengers love him and make a fuss of him, he's a lovely cat."