'Everyone knows him' - cheeky Simba the village celebrity
- Credit: Kelly Knights
He is the cat that comes to tea, the football, and possibly the shops but one thing is for sure since moving to Bramford, Simba has become a little bit of a local celebrity.
The cat moved to the village with owners Kelly Knights and James Johnson and their two children Kacie and Ronnie in 2020 and has become a talking point for his neighbours with his jaunts around the village.
Owner Kelly has since started a group called Simba's Travels to try to track where her sociable pet has been, with those in and around Willowbrook sharing their encounters with the five-year-old feline.
Kelly said: "He's cheeky, he's loving, he likes affection. When he sees anybody he will follow them and if they have food, he will follow them even more.
"He's turned up at someone's 80s themed birthday party and let himself into the club.
"Everyone knows him.
"I've got to know people just through Simba, as they ask 'are you Simba's mum?'
- 1 Weather warning for Suffolk as thunderstorms expected to affect travel
- 2 A12 reopens after air ambulance called to three-lorry crash
- 3 Men convicted of kidnap and rape of Ipswich girl
- 4 New Venezuelan restaurant to bring fusion of flavour to Ipswich
- 5 Suffolk campsite named among the best in the UK by the Guardian
- 6 Company fined £12,000 for repeatedly failing to clear Ipswich flat's waste
- 7 Forbidden Suffolk: 6 places you can't visit in the county
- 8 Food review: ‘The Botanist in Ipswich lives up to the hype’
- 9 'Blood rain' could fall this week as thunderstorms move in
- 10 Transport is patients' top priority in new medical centre plans
"We want people to have a little bit of fun. It's nice to know where he goes and what he is up to."
When the family lived in Great Blakenham, Simba was a regular at the Budgens store, sitting on the counter or sleeping behind the fridge.
Prior to moving to Bramford, Simba had an accident that caused all of his stomach and bowel to push up into his lungs.
After recovering, he returned to wandering. When he did not return after a couple of days, it caused the family to worry - only to learn he had made himself comfortable at locations around the village.
He's also been spotted at Bramford Tennis Club, the bowls club and on the bench at the football club, with several of the teams saying he has become an unofficial mascot.
Jodie Nichols said she sees Simba every week at football training and has had to evict him from her car "a couple of times".
Neighbour Dominique Scanlan said Simba brings happiness wherever he goes.
She said: "Simba often waits by our front door or follows us home from the park. We have two relatively noisy dogs which he is completely indifferent about. My son adores Simba and insists on buying cat treats with his pocket money.
"Simba has his treat and a cuddle and then is off on his next adventure, though he has been known to go straight into the house, and the car, and the garage. Willowbrook, in its entirety, has been claimed as Simba’s patch to roam."
The Simba's Travel group is in its infancy but dozens of pictures have been shared of Simba's exploits around the estate and village.