A STRAY cat who became a familiar and much-loved character on the streets of Penzance will not be heading home for Christmas.
Guinness, named because of his distinctive black and white colouring, spent many years frequenting a number of regular haunts in Penzance, but particularly in the Queen's Square area.
Indeed for the past four years of his time in the town he lodged at R&J Supplies where staff gave him a more regular home above the store.
The story was that he walked out of his home the day a baby was born in his house and never returned.
But, in the summer of 2011, after years spent as one of Penzance's free spirits, it was decided that Guinness was becoming too difficult to look after as he was getting ill and had special dietary needs.
Instead he was taken in by Denise Tregumbo at her voluntary cat rescue centre at Mawgan, Helston.
Since then, for the past two Christmases, he has returned to R&J Supplies, where staff still organise a collection to help pay for special foods and other necessities, and where he can meet up with old friends to 'wish' them season's greetings.
This year, however, Denise has decided Guinness is too old to make the journey to Penzance.
"He's getting on a bit – he's probably about 12," she said.
"He's a lovely old guy and likes going out for a ride in the car but I've decided he probably shouldn't travel over.
"However, he wishes all his old friends a very merry Christmas and he hopes that he'll be able to get over to Penzance in the new year."