Brutus the Morrisons Cat, who passed away today, 'touched so many hearts' and 'made so many people happy' during his eight years, many of them spent whiling away the hours at his favourite supermarket, conveniently located just across the road from his home in Saltney .

But how did the popular puss's charming and unusual love affair with Morrisons start, and how did he win fans from as far away as Australia and Taiwan?

Devoted owner and veterinary nurse Claire Owens revealed to The Chronicle several years ago that his first few months of life were spent as a stray.

She met him at the Knutsford practice she was working at, Brutus 'having been found being kicked about by some horrible kids in the street'.

When no-one claimed him after seven days, Claire and husband Adam adopted him and, happily, his fortunes well and truly changed for the better.

Brutus was brought back to the loving fold of the Owens' family home when he was just six-months-old.

His forays to Morrisons began when it was built in 2011, but Claire says he actually started visiting the site in 2009.

He quickly became their most loyal customer and his affection for lounging in the foyer and being fussed over by shoppers and staff remained steadfast over the years.

Things didn’t always run smoothly, with the Chronicle reporting back in January 2012 that rumours the feline had been ‘banned’ from the store had caused outrage among the then ‘more than 600 devoted Brutus fans who joined the group Brutus 'The Morrisons Cat' on Facebook.

Supermarket bosses quelled the anger saying the rumour was not true and that the popular cat could continue to nap on the store’s recycling bin in the foyer – as long as he did not enter the main store, describing him as a ‘store mascot'.

Those who called the telephone number on his collar tag thinking he was lost were greeted with a charming answer message allaying them of their fears.

It said: “Thanks for calling about Brutus.

“I assume you found him in Morrisons car park and are concerned that he may be lost.

“He actually goes to Morrisons every day as I only live across the road and he goes under the bridge and across the stream, so he’s unlikely to cross the road.

“He will make his own way back home later. I really do appreciate your call and the fact that you care, so thanks.”

Saltney Morrisons' purr-fect get well soon gesture for Brutus will make you smile

Claire and Adam chronicled his amusing antics on his special Facebook page and the likes rapidly racked up, as did the column inches.

His rising stardom saw him earn a mention on Radio 2, features in the national press and inclusion on a Wikipedia list of famous cats.

Such was Brutus' celebrity status – and like any good icon – he even had a song penned about him.

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'Mr Fox' was inspired to create the tune 'for a bit of fun' and the YouTube video featuring footage of Brutus strolling around Morrisons car park has been viewed more than 2,600 times.

And The Chronicle has faithfully featured his adventures along the way too.

Brutus sadly lost his battle with Polycystic Kidney Disease on Monday, January 16.

Thousands of comments have flooded in, with people sharing their memories and paying tribute to 'beautiful' Brutus.

Dave Cowap wrote: RIP BRUTUS!! You touched so many hearts."

"RIP Brutus you made so many people happy and in return, care for your wellbeing," said Lynn Holmes.

While June Kyriakides posted: "A beautiful cat who brought a great deal of pleasure to so many people. Rest in peace little chap. xxx"