Tributes have been paid to a feline phenomenon, Felix the Huddersfield Railway Station cat, who has died at the age of 12.
Felix was born on May 17 2011 and joined the TransPennine Express team at Huddersfield six weeks later, spending the majority of her life ‘on duty’ at the station. She was later promoted to Senior Pest Controller.
After becoming a global icon, social media sensation and fluffy fundraising force, Felix passed away peacefully on December 3 after the discovery of a terminal illness.
Felix was humanely put to sleep after the discovery of tumours which led to medical complications. Huddersfield station manager Angie Hunte and team leader Jacqui Cox were with her as she gently passed away.
Angie said: “Felix was more than a cat; she was a beloved member of our station family and left her paw prints on many commuters’ hearts as they passed through the station.
“Her presence brought smiles to visitors from around the world, making Huddersfield Station a special place. We will miss her dearly.”
Felix’s remarkable internet fame began in 2015 when commuter, Alan Hind, encountered the friendly feline during his daily travels between Huddersfield and Manchester.
Alan created a Facebook page for Felix, and when staff at the station promoted Felix to Senior Pest Controller with her very own name badge and high-vis vest, it quickly went viral, accumulating 100K followers by the end of 2016.
Her popularity since then has transcended the Pennines with visitors from around the world making pilgrimages to Huddersfield solely to meet Felix. Her Facebook page receives more than 24 million views annually.
Felix’s fame was not only a source of joy but also a force for good. Felix and her junior recruit, Bolt, who joined as Felix’s apprentice in 2018, have taken part in a calendar each year and have also been featured in two books, raising more than £240,000 for charitable causes.
Huddersfield artist Rob Martin (pictured below) twice immortalised Felix with special portraits, one of her in Bronte period costume in 2016 which went on display at the station and later wearing a 2018-19 Huddersfield Town Premier League kit.
In 2019 TransPennine Express named a Class 68 locomotive in her honour.
Angie added: “We understand that many people will want to honour Felix’s memory. We kindly encourage those wishing to fundraise or donate to consider buying the latest 2024 Felix and Bolt annual calendar instead.”
TPE has asked that Felix fans refrain from visiting the station and leave their expressions of sympathy online via the Felix and Bolt Facebook page memorial post.
There is no official TPE fundraiser for Felix’s passing – a fitting memorial will be arranged in due course. TPE kindly asks that customers and fans of Felix avoid donating to any fundraisers they may see online in her honour as they cannot guarantee the proceeds will go towards a Felix approved charity.
The 2024 Felix and Bolt calendar will be available this week and advertised on the Felix and Bolt Facebook page.
Since the announcement of Felix’s passing, thousands of well-wishers, fans and commuters have already left messages of condolence.
Felix and her family at the station also had a fabulous sense of humour too and Alan and Felix teamed up with Huddersfield Hub for a couple of April Fool’s Day spoofs. RIP, Felix. Thanks for the memories and love to all her friends and followers.