A street cat now has 'hundreds' of owners after an entire housing estate got together to rescue him from a rehoming centre.

There was such concern that Simba had been sent to a Swindon rescue centre that Madley Park residents got together to jointly adopt him.

Simba, who hangs around Madley Park, Wood Green and Madley Brook schools in Witney as well as moving through various people's houses, was causing trouble at the Co-op where staff were struggling to control him.

It meant the cat, who has a following on Facebook, was shipped off to Swindon.

Oxford Mail: Simba has been adopted by a Witney housing estate

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But the depth of feeling for Simba was so strong among residents, that a rescue operation was launched to get him back.

And now locals are working together with the Co-op staff to ensure that Simba can be kept out of trouble.

Tina Hepworth said: "He came back on Saturday afternoon and I collected him from the back office of the shop and he spent the rest of the day and a night at our house while we decided what to do.

"Whilst we would have loved Simba to live with us, I realised it wouldn't be right for him, as we live at the other end of Madley and Simba has his own established stomping ground.

"We needed to do what is right for Simba and in reality, he has many 'owners' as he has so many people looking out for him."

Ms Hepworth is sharing ownership with another resident Andrea Goodenough who lives on Simba's patch.

She said: "As well as the shop, Simba loves to visit Madley Brook and Wood Green schools, The Hair Forum hairdressers, Co-op nursery, the community hall.

"He also turns up at the local junior parkrun on Sunday mornings at Wood Green School.

"He makes himself at home on a comfy seat at the Hair Forum - not sure if he makes an appointment!.

"Apparently, he also put in an appearance at the Wood Green School PTA quiz evening."

Oxford Mail: Simba

Ms Hepworth has set up a WhatsApp group where a handful of the residents who really love Simba are discussing the next steps now that he is officially a community cat.

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She said: "The local vet has confirmed that Simba's original owner was happy to hand over guardianship on the vet's records as she hasn't seen Simba for more than two years and has since moved.

"Ideas on the group for next steps include setting up a Facebook page for Simba which has been talked about for a while as 'Spotted Simba' posts have always appeared on the Madley Community page.

"And either a PayPal account or something like an Amazon wishlist, something ongoing where people can donate to help towards food, litter, flea and worm treatments.

"Simba really is 'Madley's cat', residents just want to all club together to help look after him!"