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Mystery of black cat stickers on road signs in Kent and Sussex

If you've ever driven through Kent, chances are you will have seen the image of a black cat on a signpost.

The mysterious moggy stickers have been popping up across the south east for years - driving many wild with curiosity.

Another cat was spotted on a sign at the junction between the A28 and Harville Road just outside Wye (28343666)
Another cat was spotted on a sign at the junction between the A28 and Harville Road just outside Wye (28343666)

In the shape of a silhouetted cat's face with cut-out eyes, they are are typically seen peering around road signs along major routes and rural lanes; at the entrance to towns and villages like Selsted, Fordwich and Sittingbourne, and outside major hospitals.

Occasionally, they are placed on other objects. One such sticker adorns a red telephone box outside the Royal Victoria Pavilion Wetherspoon pub in Ramsgate.

Yet despite their ubiquity, little is known about the cats and why they appear.

Kent County Council was unable to provide any further information when approached by KentOnline.

On the internet, there is barely any mention of them, bar a short thread on The Society for All British and Irish Road Enthusiasts's website. Members reported spotting the mysterious signs as far away as Rye and Bexley, but were unable to land on an explanation.

A cat on a telephone box outside Royal Victoria Pavilion, Ramsgate
A cat on a telephone box outside Royal Victoria Pavilion, Ramsgate
A black cat on the sign at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital
A black cat on the sign at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital

So who is putting them there, and why?

Some have pointed the finger at Whitstable street artist Catman, who is known for adorning outdoor spaces with his work, and whose tag is a sunglasses-wearing cat.

But the anonymous artist says he has nothing to do with the road sign stickers.

"It's not me," he said. "I haven't seen them up close so I can't definitely say what it is, but I think they're some kind of vinyl sticker.

"I think there's probably more than one person doing it.

"I think you can buy them online. They're spread so wide - I don't think it's going to be one person doing it."

The cat was spotted on a sign in Sittingbourne
The cat was spotted on a sign in Sittingbourne
A black cat on a sign at Orbital Park on the roundabout near McDonald's, in Ashford
A black cat on a sign at Orbital Park on the roundabout near McDonald's, in Ashford

As Catman suggests, the stickers are available online - retailing on Amazon for just £3.25.

But are they being dispersed by a solitary cat lover, or by a group of like-minded feline fanatics?

Black cats have long-been associated with witchcraft. Depending on your beliefs and in which direction they cross your path, they can be considered harbingers of either good or bad luck.

Are the stickers being dispersed as a secret omen for the superstitious, or are they just a bit of harmless fun?

Some have suggested they could have something to do with Herne Bay restaurant The Curious Cat - the Facebook logo of which features a similar-looking black feline.

A black cat has appeared on a sign in Fordwich. Picture: Nikki Burnett
A black cat has appeared on a sign in Fordwich. Picture: Nikki Burnett
A black cat on a sign at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford
A black cat on a sign at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford

But the restaurant has also rejected these claims, with its owner saying he had never seen them before.

Other theories suggest the stickers are put up along roads at places cats frequently cross, while some argue they could mark places where beloved pets have lost their lives.

For the time being, regardless of the reason behind them, spotting them is good fun for those out and about in Kent.

We must make peace with our curiosity - and hope it doesn't kill the cat.

Have you seen the cat stickers? Do you have a theory as to why they are there? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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