RED ink dumped on an industrial estate has transformed Casper the cat into a furry pink Bagpuss lookalike.
Even after a thorough bath and shampoo at the local vet’s, the grey and white moggie remains distinctly pink around the gills...and looking uncannily like the Seventies children’s TV favourite.
The incident had also made his owner see red. She is worried other rubbish on Eastwood’s Progress Road industrial estate, could seriously harm pets and attract vermin.
The 18-month-old pet returned to his home in Gipson Park Close, Eastwood, on Saturday, covered from top to toe in red.
Owner Jayne Richardson says she found a trail of red on bushes and vegetation leading from rubbish dumped on the estate.
Traces of the red ink has been found in plants behind the industrial estate
Mrs Richardson, 40, is angry and concerned because she says other cats have also been seen with the ink on them.
There have also been reports of pink foxes being seen in the area.
She said: “It just highlights what a problem flytipping is.
“There’s evidence of this ink in the bushes at the end of our street and there are trails going from the Progress Road industrial estate, where there are also huge mountains of rubbish piled up.
“It’s affected all of us here, as we don’t feel as though we can let our cats out any more, in case they get covered in this ink again.
“The rubbish has also been attracting rats and mice, which we’ve never had a problem with before, Now we’re overrun with them.
“If you leave your back door open, they’re coming in. It’s a nuisance that is going to be made worse if this rubbish isn’t cleared up.”
Mohammed Hussain, of nearby Allied Foods business, said he had allowed Mrs Richardson to look round his premises when she visited the estate and was confident his business was not causing problems.
He added: “There were building materials in our yard while we had work going on, but all that has gone now. Health and hygiene is a big priority for us as we are a food distribution business.”
Despite a thorough scrub, Casper is still somewhat pink around the gills
A Southend Council spokesman said: “We always take reports of nuisance and environmental issues seriously and endeavour to investigate where we have the specific details to enable us to do so.
“We would also encourage residents to report other nuisance issues to the regulatory services team.”