Meet Flash the cat - a Norfolk railway station’s ‘rodent control officer’
- Credit: Archant
From platform announcements and the beeps of ticket barriers to wheels rattling over the rails, railway stations are places full of familiar sounds.
But in recent weeks, volunteers at a Norfolk railway station have grown used to another noise - a hungry kitten miaowing to be fed.
After discovering a stray cat with a three or four week old kitten at the station, Dereham's Mid Norfolk Railway has gained a new team member in rodent control officer, named Flash.
And the heritage railway line has now made the three or four month old animal more than welcome at the station, with volunteers even building a shed to keep the twice daily cat food dry.
Station manager George Saville said: "Two or three months ago we became aware of a feral cat and a very small, feral kitten on the railway.
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"Some members of the public were concerned so we started putting food out, and people have been donating us cat food as well.
"The little kitten runs under the carriages and over the rails."
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"The mother disappeared but the kitten is still around.
"It miaows to be fed, and comes around twice a day for food."
In a tweet shared by the Mid Norfolk Railway, a spokesperson said: "Over the last few months, Dereham station has, by accident, adopted a small cat.
"We have named he or she "Flash", as they disappear at the first sign of anyone being around.
"We like to look after our furry friends here, so the volunteers have built Flash their own little shed."
And Mr Saville added: "Nobody can get near, so we don't know if Flash is male or female."
"Flash is a fully fledged member of the team - our rodent control officer.
"In the past, if a railway station identified it had a cat it would get a milk allowance on the books, and the porter would be given the money to pay for it."
Flash has even proved a hit on social, with comments praising the station's actions.
Diane Kanarienvogel, @Canaryb1rd, tweeted: "That is very lovely and caring of you.
"Even as a dog person, I am of the opinion that a railway station should definitely have a cat."
And Robert Flute, @robertflute, added: "Flash by name and flash by nature."
- Have you been involved in an animal rescue in Dereham? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org