BRITISH shoppers have been left outraged after a beloved moggy deemed Lincoln the “Tesco cat” has been barred from the store.
The six-year-old pet from Hornsea, East Yorkshire has been a constant presence at his local Tesco branch for over three years, where he would often greet delighter staff and customers at the door.
However, owners Lorraine, 52, and Kris Clarke, 50, claim that they were alerted over the weekend to a member of staff “handling Lincoln out of the foyer”.
The pair have also revealed that an employee from the branch has taken to social media to inform them that their pet is no longer allowed to set paws inside the premises after bringing rodents in-store.
Lorraine and Kris claim that the shift leader had originally assured them that the store had no issue with Lincoln – who now has his own calendar – but were left shocked by the shop’s sudden change in attitude.
In a now-deleted post, the alleged shift leader claimed: “I am a shift leader at Tesco Hornsea, and I just wanted to say that Lincoln is no longer allowed in our store.
“This is due to hygiene reasons, and he attracts pests. Our store director came in and said he no longer wants him in the foyer.
“He brings in dead mice in the foyer (sic) and we’ve had customers complain about this. It’s just not pleasant finding mice around which he brings in. Sorry for any inconvenience.”
However, shoppers have now been left outraged by the decision – with some threatening to boycott the store as a result.
One person wrote: “Unbelievable, obviously don’t realise how much his presence means to so many people.”
Another said: “We live 10 miles away from Hornsea and, as we no longer have family in the town, we use Tesco in the hope of seeing Lincoln when we’re shopping.
“If he was no longer welcome at Tesco, we would definitely use a store that’s local to us.”
A third commented: “My son who’s severely disabled gets stressed in Tesco but when he sees Lincoln and strokes him, it [calms] him down.
“He is an amazing cat who’s helped my son cope, going into this mad shop, and if he’s not allowed in then I wouldn’t take my son there anymore as we spend all [our] time dodging the big cages left in aisles and staff that stand and talk to each other.
“When you ask if you can get past, they pretend they don’t hear you.”
A fourth added: “Let me get this straight. Tesco, in their infinite wisdom, are banning Lincoln as he is a ‘health and safety‘ concern.
“Basically, he is putting at risk the ‘health’ and ‘safety’ of a pile of compost bags and some screen wash. Lawksa-Lordy! It’s Covid all over again…not.
“Get a f*****g grip, Tesco. For f**k sake.”
Speaking to Lorraine today, she said: “My husband and I were alerted last weekend to a member of staff manhandling Lincoln out of the foyer.
“My husband went to the store and spoke with the duty manager who assured him he would check CCTV and speak to that staff member.
“He also told my husband he had no issue with Lincoln being in the foyer and staff would be told not to manhandle him.
“A day or so later, a [social media] post on his page said he was no longer welcome in the foyer.
“The outpouring of feelings from people far and wide has been amazing – all in support of us and Lincoln and how good he makes people feel and what joy he brings and that many people see him as a therapy cat.
“In reality – how can Tesco ban our cat? He will still go there.”
Tesco has been approached for comment.