Yorkshire pub landlords beg locals not to feed their wandering cat

Skimbleshanks
Skimbleshanks
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The owners of a pub in Thirsk have grounded their pet cat after neighbours kept feeding him in their homes.

Norwegian forest cat Skimbleshanks drives publicans Neil and Caroline Patterson mad with worry during his wanderings - which often see him stay out for several nights at a time.

Skimble hard at work in the Frankland Arms

Skimble hard at work in the Frankland Arms

Skimbleshanks - who is named after a character from the musical Cats - is hugely popular with patrons of the The Frankland Arms, but some local residents have been allowing the naughty puss to stay in their homes overnight.

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Neil and Caroline, who adopted Skimble from a rescue centre when they were living in Canada, now fear he could go missing on a permanent basis and have 'grounded' him.

"We've been here since 2017 - we were looking for a pub to run and we fell in love with the Dales. Skimble managed to get locked in a hotel room in the Yorke Arms at Ramsgill for three days when we were staying in Pateley Bridge, so we kept him inside for three days when we arrived in Thirsk. He settled in quickly and people love to come up and stroke him - he's a real draw for customers. He's so friendly and he likes everybody," said Neil.

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"We know he goes to other houses, but he then started disappearing at night about eight weeks ago. He'd come home three or four days later and he wasn't cold or wet - he was warm so he'd clearly been inside. Caroline eventually found a collar that says 'do not feed' which he now wears.

Skimble is hugely popular with pub regulars

Skimble is hugely popular with pub regulars

"We've just grounded him for four days and kept the windows shut. He's been returning in the mornings now so we think we've broken the chain."

Nobody in Thirsk has confessed to feeding Skimble or allowing him to sleep in their homes, so the culprits remain a mystery.

"We've had a lot of stories come to light about his exploits - he's a real adventurer, but nobody has admitted feeding him. He really doesn't like being inside!"

The couple lost two other pet cats to road accidents when they lived in Canada.

Skimble makes a bid for freedom

Skimble makes a bid for freedom