The cat's whiskers

PUBLISHED: 07:06 01 June 2006 | UPDATED: 09:23 24 May 2010

Gareth Hawkes and Gareth Shaw with Sparc.

Gareth Hawkes and Gareth Shaw with Sparc.

THE furry friend of Weston's firefighters is celebrating 10 years at the station. Sparc has lived at the Milton Avenue station since she was taken in by the firefighters from the RSPCA. Community fire safety officer Ian Hughes said: We had to get permiss

THE furry friend of Weston's firefighters is celebrating 10 years at the station.Sparc has lived at the Milton Avenue station since she was taken in by the firefighters from the RSPCA.Community fire safety officer Ian Hughes said: "We had to get permission from the senior managers to get Sparc from the RSPCA and held a competition to name her."Sparc, which is an anagram of RSPCA, was the winning name, but a lot of the lads still call her Picket after her predecessor because she has the same tabby markings."Picket was the first fire station cat and adopted the station as her home in the late 1970s when she was a kitten.She was given her name because she helped the firefighters form pickets outside the station when they held a strike.Picket used to sleep on the fire trucks and was put off by firefighters at the station gates on their way to call-outs. She is buried in the station grounds and received an official brigade funeral with full honours. The firefighters wore dress uniform and her small coffin was brought out on the turntable ladder.Ian added: "Sparc spends her days asleep in the in-tray in the station office and her evenings with the crew in the main station."She often wanders in and out of meetings and is a favourite with any kids who come for a look round."The sirens don't seem to faze her at all. She just lifts her head to see who's going out and then goes back to sleep.

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