A SICK stray cat which had more than £600 donated by the public toward urgent vet bills has died.

Just before Christmas, 12-year-old female cat 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 towards the friendly feline.

But following her thyroid operation this week, Sophie suddenly deteriorated and the heart-breaking decision was made to put her to sleep.

“Sophie has unfortunately died, it was discovered that she went into kidney failure after an operation on her thyroid,” Jessie said.

“She was always a very sleepy girl anyway but she had seemed to be recovering. Her fleas had completely gone but she she was still drinking and eating a lot because of her thyroid.

"After the operation she began to stagger about. We weren’t too worried because she had had an anaesthetic

“But then she fell into her water bowl and didn’t get up, she was completely listless we were so worried at that point.

“We don’t know if she always had kidney failure and the thyroid was masking it or if it was too much for her body to handle after what she had already been through. But she would have continued to deteriorate if we hadn’t got her the operation.

Following calcium treatment at the vets Sophie remained unresponsive with tests revealing she was in kidney failure. Jessie said the Sophie was peaceful and happy just before she died.

“She was looking at me and purring as she always does. I think she was almost in a state of euphoria, she was ready to go,” Jessie said.

“I know she was happy for the first time in a while when she lived with me. She loved sitting on hard surfaces, particularly the stairs and watching the world go by.”

Jessie paid tribute to the generous donors who gave contributions towards Sophie’s treatment.

“I want to thank the people of Swindon that donated hundreds of pounds towards Sophie and getting her that operation. It was such a kind thing to do and it made her much happier for the short time that she was with me.”