In this month’s “Meet the…” we get to meet a real life celebrity: Wilbur, The Village Cat, aka The King of Ruddington aka Six Dinner Sid, aka Top Cat. Wilbur is so famous he’s in the news, he has his own Wilbur merchandise and has a huge following on Facebook set up by his biggest fan, local Nicola Burton (search for “Wilbur – King of Ruddington”).
We wanted to hear more about his life in the public eye and what it’s like to be THE village cat.
Q: What’s new, pussy cat?
A: Actually, I’m feline pretty good. I’ve recently landed a job in finance – I’m now manager at The Nottingham Building Society in Ruddington. So far it’s been pawsome and they pay me extremely well with attention. I also get to work with my best friend, Lesley.
Q: That sounds like really hard work, Wilbur. How do you manage it all?
A: Life as a celebrity cat can be pretty demanding at times. Everyone wants to touch me and say “hello” and I do love it; however if it ever gets too much, a short cat nap really helps. The building society look after their staff and they have a very comfortable swivel chair. I have a great cattitude to work and my owner Cathy Appelbee keeps me grounded with the celebrity stuff.
Q: What is it like being the public eye?
A: Well, obviously, I’m a cat and I unashamedly love it. I literally stop traffic during the rush hour – what cat wouldn’t want that? Having said that, if you’re a “Somebody” like me, it’s important to use this notoriety to help others. So unlike other celebrities, I don’t just lend my name to good causes, I like to visit the chosen people in their homes and engage with them and the contents of their fridges. I’m a fur-ever committed people’s person (cat). People need me and I need sardines. (Wilbur’s fave snack). Just for the record, and for my followers, I don’t like sweet things.
Q: Have you always lived in Ruddington?
A: I’m practically born and bred here. I was born in July 2009, and my mummy, Cathy adopted me and my sister Ruby at 6 weeks old. I’ve lived here all my life.
Q: Tell us more about your flower shop lock-in?
A: Oh yes. I’ll never live that down will I? There was that time I got locked in Phoenix Flower shop over a bank holiday. For months I felt pretty embarrassed about it but actually looking back, it was one of the best weekends of my life. It could have been a cat-astrophe and I would have lost one of my lives if it not for my loving owner Cathy. She shoved food through the letterbox that weekend. The flower shop is known for its great window displays and to be honest, it’s never looked as fabulous as it did with me in it. Now I love lying out in all the windows down the High Street. My public love it, too.
Q: Do you have any kittens?
A: Absolutely not, I’m not an animal person. I’m more a people’s person…err I mean people’s cat. Also, I like my freedom. I like to spend a lot of time in the pubs, especially The Red Lion and The Frame Breakers. Sometimes they let me sleep over. My owner is cool with that, so long as I drop in occasionally and say hi to the fam. I have a couple of feline sisters and a canine sister, who are happy being regular pets. I’m very successful at what I do and I have several homes I like to reside in.
Q: What do you like to do in Ruddington?
A: You can see what I get up to on my fan page on Facebook, but I love hanging out everywhere. You will often see me in Classic Cuts; I love the glamour. I enjoy chilling out outside Perkins Hardware store, the pubs, the cafes… We’re so lucky in Ruddington!
Q: Isn’t it your birthday soon?
A: Yes, I’m 10 years young in July. In human years I would be having a midlife crisis around now. Instead, I’m having a big party at The Frame Breakers to celebrate turning the big 1-0. Everyone is invited.
Q; Tell us more!
A: It’s on Sunday, 14th July 4pm till closing. I want to give back to my fans so I’m crowdfunding for more lifesaving defibrillators in the village. Any extra money raised that evening will go to heart charities. So it’s going be a purrfect great village get together. My friends will be selling Wilbur merchandise, cupcakes and little knitted Wilburs for the charitable cause. I’ve heard there’ll be tails for sale! A birthday cake will be baked by my talented friends from Jasper’s café. The pub will also be putting on cat-themed drinks (Hair of the Cat, Pink Panther etc) and a raffle. The Frame Breakers have been very generous and will be putting on a fantastic evening for all. Please get in touch with my Facebook page if you’d like to contribute towards the raffle.
Q: Will you be there?
A: I hope so but I am a cat. If I happen to be somewhere else, my owner Cathy is hoping a human will bring me to my own party! There’ll be a piece of cake waiting for you if you do.
You’re invited to Wilbur’s 10th Birthday party at The Frame Breakers on Sunday 14th July, from 4pm until close. Families welcome! Don’t forget to bring cash for fundraising fun.