The heartbroken owner of a much-loved cat in the Cotswolds has called for change after her pet was left for dead.

Baldrick the cat about town, one of Shipston’s most popular characters, has died, prompting his owner to call for changes to the law to give cats the same rights as dogs.

He died after being struck by a car on Telegraph Street on bank holiday Monday, with the driver not stopping to check on him.

Baldrick’s owner, Iona Corbett, has urged them to come forward.

She said: “I would love for the cowards to own up and come forward.

“It’s truly despicable that someone could just leave him dead in the middle of the road without a single thought for the family.”

Iona added: “I also want the law to be changed and it made illegal for people to drive off if they hit a cat just as it is if they hit a dog.

“There is a charity that is petitioning for this to happen – CatsMatter.”

Cotswold Journal: Iona Corbett and BaldrickIona Corbett and Baldrick (Image: Iona Corbett)

Iona said that Baldrick was hit some time between 2.50pm and 3pm on Monday, May 1.

His body was then left in a plastic bag at the vets, which was closed.

Iona only found him as she had an AirTag on his collar, which she had put on due to his adventurous nature.

Baldrick was known by many in the town, often popping into shops to say hello.

His antics led to Iona setting up a Facebook page for him, which now has more than 1,000 followers.

The post announcing his death, at age five, read: “This was the post my mama never wanted to make.

“Sadly today I used up my nine lives and I’ve made my way over the rainbow to carry on my exploits.

“Mum is heartbroken and for all that I may have caused her no end of bother over the last few months, she would still rather be writing little posts about my explorations than writing this. 

“She’d like to thank everyone who has shown me so much kindness and love since we moved to Shipston. I’m sure my stories will live on.”

Cotswold Journal: Baldrick had amassed over 1,000 Facebook followersBaldrick had amassed over 1,000 Facebook followers (Image: The Explorations of Baldrick, the cat about town)