THE public have taken a sick stray cat to their hearts, raising more than £600 towards her veterinary bills.

On December 23, the 12-year-old female cat, christened Sophie, was discovered covered in fleas and crying outside a Buckhurst Crescent, Park North property.

Sophie, who was underweight, anaemic and had worms, required £300 to ensure she could get a vital operation on her thyroid

After a trip to the vets tortoiseshell Sophie was taken into the loving care of SNDogs charity trustee and lead co-ordinator Jessie Bascombe who appealed for donations towards Sophie’s urgent veterinary treatment.

Thanks to charitable town residents, more than £600 was donated meaning the friendly feline is now booked in for vital veterinary treatment.

An anonymous donor, herself the owner of four felines donated the final £300 to cover Sophie’s treatment costs.

And the news of the donations being doubled has left Jessie overwhelmed with the level of support.

“I’m just taken aback by the kindness of people, sometimes people can see cats as pests but this shows there are such kind and caring people in the town.

“We had small donations then a huge one-off donation of £300 from a very kind gentleman which enabled us to get Sophie the care she needs, it’s absolutely incredible,” Jessie said.

“It’s amazing how people have supported her, you don’t expect people to donate such huge amounts of money but it shows people really do care. The final donation is so unexpected and I’m so grateful.”

And sweet Sophie won’t be short of company at Jessie’s house where she is already settling in well with Jessie’s seven other cats and five dogs

“She’s a funny little cat and she’s becoming more confident. Her fleas have completely gone and her demeanour is so much happier. She likes to sit on the stairs and watch the world go by and also look out of the windows," Jessie said.

When she was found Sophie had on a flea collar and a pink and silver cat collar with a bell but so far no owner has been identified.

“We still haven’t had an owner come forward so Jessie will be living with me and she’s doing very well.

“She’s booked in at the vet for blood tests and she is recovering well and still eating well so things look positive for her in the future.

“The donations will be used for any veterinary treatment Sophie needs and make sure she is kept in the best of health. After this is done, it looks like she will be able to lead a long and healthy life.

“Thank you to everyone that donated, you have changed Sophie’s life.”