Garfy - aka "Mr Sainsbury" was an Ely icon until his death in 2019. We want to create a memorial statue for him in Pocket Park, close to Garfy's roaming ground. The life-size statue, in bronze, will be created by local artist Sally Dunham, and will be placed close to a bench so that visitors can sit and stoke Garfy, just as they used to.
To create the statue and install it in Pocket Park will cost around £6500. Any surplus after the statue is in place will be donated to other charities.
Garfy (full name Garfield) first came to attention when Sainsbury’s opened their new supermarket on Lisle Lane. Before that it had been a brownfield site where Garfy liked to wander. When they built the supermarket on it, Garfy simply carried on wandering there.
The curiosity that all cats are famous for, led him into car boots, shopping bags, boxes and inside the store. People started buying treats for him when they did their weekly shopping.
Garfy started to get so stout that, under vets instructions, David, his owner, was obliged to ask Sainsbury’s to put up a notice saying “please do not feed this cat.”
Now Garfy got really famous. The local press saw the sign, were amused and printed a story about him. And then another, and then another, and then another….
Garfy enjoyed celebrity, in fact he rather courted it, and he certainly made the most of everyone who came to the Sainsburys in Ely to see him.
He became an advocate for the local Cats Protection. Their donation box at Sainsbury’s save them around £1000 a year in cat food. He made appearances at their cat show every year and by bringing people to the show helped to find homes for other cats.
He was truly loved by everyone who knew him.
He was immortalised in two books and has a Facebook page with over 6500 followers.