An 11-year-old girl fighting cancer was heartbroken when a hit and run driver brought tragedy to her life.
Her angry mother says the incident is just one of several heartbreaking deaths in the same road involving cherished pet cats.
Talented gymnast Molly Jane Weston is having chemotherapy for a rare bone cancer and her pet Siamese Pandora was one of her great comforts.
But early one morning a driver hit the two-year-old cat as it was grooming itself in Friday Street, Warnham, near the family home, and the driver did not stop.
Last Thursday in the same street Molly Jane’s friend Poppy Mayer, 12, lost her cat Wilbur under cruel circumstances. Wilbur was shot in the head with an air gun and as he tried to reach home a driver ran him over, failing to stop.
Only two days before, little Molly Strafino, eight, and brother Vito lost their cat Snowy when another driver ran it over in the same road, again not stopping.
Molly Jane’s mother Sophie, of estate agents Mapp and Weston, told the Post: “I had to pick up Pandora from the road. I don’t think the drivers think about how much this affects the kids. They are just carrying on, on their way to work.
“Pandora was Molly’s Jane’s best pet, and her death was absolutely hideous. It set Molly Jane back in her treatment. Because of her condition and treatment she can’t have another cat until three months after her treatment is finished in August, and Pandora was a great comfort for her.
Apart from the shooting, Sophie believes the cat deaths are down to thoughtlessness rather than being deliberate acts. She said: “I think it is just commuters in a hurry. Friday Street is an absolute death trap. There will be an accident here, I am sure someone will get injured. Friday Street is supposed to be a 20 miles an hour zone and it is abused daily.”
Young Poppy was so upset about the fate of her shot cat that she wrote a touching message that has been posted around the village. Part of it reads: “This cat should have lived a long happy life but because of careless people he died. But you can help prevent this. RIP my darling cat. You will be missed terribly and you will never leave our hearts and it was not your fault the way you died. Xoxox poppy, 12”
The happier news for the Weston family is that Molly Jane is responding well to her treatment at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. Sophie said: “She is actually clear, although she doesn’t finish her treatment until August. The doctors say she will make a full recovery. The cancer had stopped being active and she is back her elite gymnast sessions. She has handled it all very well. She had the cancer in seven areas. It was first diagnosed after she was unable to walk because of hole in her hip. It was found she also had a double back fracture and a fractured collar bone. At the age of 10 we had to start pushing her around in a buggy. She has to take 18 tablets a day, but she has been absolutely brilliant in the way she has handled all this.”