An adorable pet tabby cat called Kolo has become a big hit with patients during his regular trips to his local hospital ‘s Emergency Department.
The popular moggy has become something of a celebrity among staff and visitors to Southmead Hospital in Bristol, where he makes frequent visits from his nearby home.
Kolo, who will be three in August, has been visiting the Emergency Department for over a year, befriending hospital staff and cheering up patients.
Many of them have taken selfies with Kolo who makes friends with just about everyone who passes through the department, from police officers and paramedics to young children.
The tabby has a particular penchant for napping anywhere around the hospital – in filing baskets, on chairs, and underneath wet floor signs.
He also enjoys lounging on the reception desk countertop – where he is especially fascinated by the printer.
And Kolo visits the department so frequently that his owner, Vikki Gillies, has made Kolo his own Facebook page – The Adventures of Kolo.
Vikki said: “I just think it’s hilarious.
“We live right by the A&E entrance and our back garden backs onto the hospital.
“He always used to stay in during the day and go out at night through his cat flap.
“We just started getting people saying he was at the hospital and he kept appearing on lost and found pet sites where people were wondering if he was lost.
“It got so frequent with people thinking he was lost, I just thought it would be really funny to put all the pictures of him together on one page.”
And patients and staff who have got to know Kolo during his hospital visits love to share their photos of the cat lounging around the deparment.
Leanne Pitt, who works in a different department at Southmead Hospital, shared an adorable photo of her son Leo giving Kolo a cuddle during a recent visit to the Emergency Department.
Leanne said: “Leo suffers with ADHD really badly, and having Kolo at the hospital made a massive difference to the wait we had.
“I was dreading taking him, as I knew how long we would have to wait, but that cat made a massive difference.”
Meanwhile, plenty of other patients have shared photos of Kolo taking a cat nap on chairs around the department, or on top of the reception desk.
Jess-Ann Gray, a staff nurse at the hospital, wrote on The Adventures of Kolo page: “Kolo thanks for giving me a cuddle and putting a smile on my face as I walked into work this morning.
“Just what I needed at the start of a 12-hour shift.”
And Juliette Hughes, matron at Southmead Hopsital’s Emergency Department, even wrote Kolo a jokey performance review.
She wrote: “Kolo has become a very popular member of our team and is a great asset.
“I promise we will care for him when he pops to see us and encourage him to come back to you also.
“Although Kolo has a lovely temperament he is inclined to be a bit lazy and takes far too many breaks.
“He has a performance plan which we are supporting him with. His attendance is also bit erratic which isn’t in keeping with the ethos of our team.
“He does however bring great happiness and we all love him so we will cut him some slack! Keep us smiling Kolo.”
Kolo’s owner Vikki added: “People are always really happy to see him.
“He won’t come and harass you, but he’s happy for you to stroke him and I think it’s really comforting and has a calming effect.
“People make such a fuss of him and he’s not stupid – he knows he is going to get looked after there.
“He goes behind the reception desk and on the chairs and they all just love him.”
But Vikki also wants people to be aware that Kolo is no a stray and does have a home, where he is an extremely well-loved and well-fed pet.
She said: “Many people often think he is lost, and take him to veterinary surgeries to be checked.
“We set up his page to make people aware that he does have a loving home and isn’t a stray.
“I have two kids who adore him so it’s really important to make people aware he does have a loving family.
“People might think he does not have a home and think they are doing him a favour, but the truth is he just lives around the corner.”