Many people who have visited the Kings Chase shopping centre in Kingswood (a suburb of Bristol) may have been fortunate enough to encounter a rather famous cat: George a.k.a. the Wilko cat.
A very handsome and equally cheeky tabby cat who lives locally, George has made Wilko his second home, to the delight of many adoring fans (there are currently a little under 2000 members on his dedicated Facebook page).
George is definitely the coolest cat in Kingswood (perhaps the whole of Bristol!) but how did this cool cat ensure he stayed cool during a June heatwave that peaked at a scorching 33 degrees?
It’s fair to say all cats enjoy a bit of sunbathing…but not all of them do so in the middle of a busy shopping centre!
If the heat became overwhelming…
He could be seen retreating to the shade of his urban jungle.
Sometimes you would be hard pushed to spot the little tiger lurking in the tropical foliage.
He would also camp out beneath the public benches, providing equal amounts of privacy and shade whilst giving him the perfect voyeuristic vantage point from which to spy on passers-by.
BUT if you looked hard, you could still spot him.
The general rule is not to stroke or poke George to wake him if he’s sleeping, but with his favourite shop Wilko being much too warm he rejected his marathon sleep sessions in there, opting instead to meet and greet his adoring public in the communal area of the shopping centre.
Being a cat photographer and respectful of King George I don’t approach him for a fuss, I always let him come to me in his own time.
Trust me, it is ALWAYS worth the wait!
I think it’s fair to say that George is a bit of a poser.
He also loves a cuddle, even in the extreme heat as I sat there sweating buckets he decided it was the perfect time to sit on my lap. Excuse the poor quality phone selfie!
It was HOT! But who could refuse?
The only thing George’s fans must refuse (for the good of his health) is feeding him any food, however tempting it may be, and however charmingly he asks.
He’s fed a good diet at his own home, and too many treats from well-meaning admirers has proven to upset his poor little stomach with him, causing him to be unwell.
Even on the hottest day of the year George was found people-watching outside his favourite place.
So that’s the story of how the coolest cat in Kingswood kept his cool during a heatwave.
He didn’t miss a day of work. You just had to look harder to find him.
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The Pet Collective is a Bristol-based luxury & lifestyle animal portraiture service brought to you by creative photographers Carly Wong and Simon Withyman.