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Working Felines: Rail Station Cats 3

PC Tizer
of King's Cross Station


Tizer on duty with Roy Sloane, King's Cross, September 2007 In September 2007 a new mouser was recruited at a leading rail station in London, England's capital city, to combat a population of rodents there. British Transport Police took on Tizer to work at King's Cross station; he came from a north London branch of Cats Protection, the leading UK cat charity, where he had been for about a month after his previous owner died. Although 13 years old when he took on his new position, Tizer was fit and active, and the mice seemed to get the message and moved away.

Made an honorary constable, in his off-duty time PC Tizer shared an office with a senior human, Inspector Roy Sloane (right), although he had the run of the three-storey police building and, according to Insp. Sloane, was spoiled by the men. He was described as an essential member of the team, and was saving a lot of money previously spent on rodent control — which wasn't working anyway. He wore a high-visibility collar, and one report said one of the officers was making him a matching coat!

In addition to his mousing duties, Tizer noticeably improved morale among the police team and his friendly presence helped officers to combat the stresses of their job. He loved people, so the 24-hour-a-day, busy atmosphere of the station seemed to suit him well. He had a favourite toy spider that came with him from the adoption centre, and in quieter moments liked nothing better than to have someone play 'fetch and carry' with him. He also liked to have the radio on.

In July 2009, upon enquiring at the King's Cross office of the British Transport Police, I was told that Tizer had retired and was living with Inspector Sloane, so it seemed he did not have a very long tour of duty.

Not long afterwards I was contacted by Roy Sloane, who had seen this page and confirmed that Tizer was retired and living comfortably with Roy and his family in the country. He apparently 'worshipped' Roy's wife and his eldest son, was 'spoilt rotten' and enjoyed lazing in the garden. Many thanks to Roy for supplying the accompanying images.

Tizer in retirement Tizer finds a sunny spot Tizer relaxing Tizer and Master Sloane Tizer, Aug 2009 Tizer still full of curiosity, Aug 2009 Tizer a few weeks before he died, Aug 2009

September 2009: We're very sad to report that Tizer died, following a short fight against cancer, on 24 September. Roy Sloane, who 'changed his opinion of cats for ever' after living with Tizer and described him as his 'best friend', said that he and his family will miss him terribly, as he meant a great deal to them. Having lost cats ourselves over the years, we know how it feels, and extend our sympathy. However, it's comforting to know that Tizer found such a good home for the final year or so of his life, where he received so much love and attention.

October 2010: Tizer's story appears as one of those featured in a little book of true cat tales for children entitled Bumble the Brave Kitten, by Sam Hay, published by Macmillan; ISBN 978-0-330-52181-9.

Note: since Tizer was 'employed' by the British Transport Police and also worked at a railway station, it was decided he belonged with Rail Station Cats rather than Police Cats. The BTP is a separate body from Britain's regular police force, and most of its funding comes from the train-operating companies rather than the government. Although its jurisdiction is exercised mostly over railways, the underground and similar transport facilities, BTP officers can act as regular police constables outside their normal jurisdiction in certain circumstances. See Wikipedia for more information.

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Our featured feline at the head of the page is Socks, pictured in 2003 surveying his 'estate' in the early morning sunshine. Affectionately known as Soxy, he blossomed from a thin and hungry stray into a substantial and handsome cat who loved life and company, and his gentle ways endeared him to many friends. He is now no longer with us, but you can read more from his human companion here.

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