Off The Record: Snowy the Harringay Station Cat

Written by: Sophie Taylor

..hinting at a darker underbelly to the urban London pet scene.

We caught up with Snowy the Harringay Station cat and chatted Twitter, working life and his unsavoury friendship with Gus the fox.

“I’m Snowy, I work at Harringay Station in North London where I greet passengers at the footbridge. Tweet me @HarringayCat”

It’s a warm and welcoming Twitter bio, and wholly misleading. 

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Snowy may well greet you at said footbridge, but he won’t acknowledge any old Tom, Dick or Harry. We found the creamy feline elusive, failing to organise a meeting for many weeks. His agent was indifferent and unhelpful, telling us to ‘try again next week’ when she wasn’t screening our calls.

Going rogue and finally catching him amongst the brambles in a heavy slumber, we tentatively start up a conversation as he begins to stir.

“Excuse the cans” he purs, stretching, slowly knocking one out of the way with a dusty white paw. “I hadn’t touched the stuff for a while. It was a big one last night”.

He goes hard and never goes home.

We wonder if it had been one of Snowy’s infamous nights out with outspoken and controversial Londoner, Gus the fox. And whether he considers him a friend.

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“Yes, I’ve been known to occasionally hang out with Gus, but not last night. I will always regret a night out with him. He goes hard and never goes home. In fact I’m not entirely sure he has a home, or a job to go to. It’s a tough climate at the moment. But while I’m dragging myself back to Harringay station of a morning, he remains sprawled backwards over a bin with bean juice round his chops mumbling about Brexit to the flying ants. Gus is one to keep an eye on actually. He might have some pretty salty ideas about current affairs, but he’s a cracking wingman. We get on well, yeah. Yeah he’s a mate.”

Snowy’s circle of friends appear to be a somewhat motley crew of characters that he will occasionally disassociate with.

“Sammy’s fallen on hard times. Just seen him down Green Lanes, eating a pile of sick outside kebab shop. Pretended not to know him. #mortified” a recent Tweet reads, hinting at a darker underbelly to the urban London pet scene.

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I know some wastemen, true.

It is widely unreported how old Snowy is. Wondering if it was a sensitive subject, we approached with caution.

“I have no idea. In cat years or otherwise. I asked my extensive Twitter following actually the other week and just got a load of nonsense back. I reckon I’m about six in human years but I’m not sure I care. It’s just a number innit?”

Snowy is a low key philosopher for the modern age with a relaxed attitude to most goings on. But get him going on a topic close to his heart and he’ll soon begin ranting, swooshing his tail with every syllable, pacing the ground in front of you.

The otherwise cool cat will regularly take to Twitter to raise important stories of animal abuse, missing pets and promote bravery in the cat and dog community. 

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But the current thorn in his paw? That recent pill smuggling mission that dominated the headlines of late. “I know some wastemen, true. But that was nothing to do with me. Do you hear?” he looks me up and down slowly before meeting my gaze, his eyes pale and unblinking. After four minutes of silence I nod and agree to make this abundantly clear in the article. “We’re cool” he grins.

It was rumoured, however, that Snowy’s group moved in the same circles as the drug scandal perpetrators: the pill smuggling pigeon posse. As police caught one such pigeon with 200 ecstasy pills in it’s backpack, Gus the fox tweeted somewhat ill-advisedly, “My mate Colin Hong got busted. That’s Friday fucked. I told Packham it wouldn’t work” referring to his shifty, spiky haired friend, Chris Packham.

There’s reason to believe Jon Pigeon was also involved in the Great British Face Out, pedalling the disco biscuits to his molly loving chums in and around North London. 

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The White Lion pub is named after me.

Other chums in Snowy’s crowd include fellow Londoner tabby Smog, American art collector Bitches and The Bollies, a trio of diva felines from Australia who found Snowy online.

Although Snowy has a sprawling group of friendships, his nature is decidedly self assured: this is an entirely independent and free minded beast. On some days this attitude starts to err on the side of snooty. “The White Lion pub is named after me”, you might hear him purr, pausing dramatically in his stride before turning his head to add, “bitchesss”.

But it’s all very furry tongue in cheek. Snowy has all four feet firmly on the ground, always landing in style. With four jobs (he now works part time at the local library, off licence and the Quernmore Rd Cafe) he barely has time to choke down a can of Felix than maintain any real sense of conceit. 

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Even after he was appointed the official mascot of local Volfsball team The Harringay Choppers, Snowy’s ego exists solely as a nudge and a wink through 140 characters. Finding Snowy on a rare morning off, snoozing off the remains of the night before, was pot luck.  

He’s a busy and popular chap, with a huge following both online and off. As we start to ask what the day has in store for him, his eyes widen and dart from side to side just behind our heads. “Jon!” he cries, flicking his tail quickly. “How are you pal?”

A large chested pigeon rocks up from behind us laughing. “Well if it isn’t ol’ Snowy! I’ve missed you man!” Jon waddles over as Snowy gives him a playful swipe.

“Didn’t recognise you without your backpack dude..” the unlikely pair face each other, eyes narrow and small. A thin smile creeps across Snowy’s lips and the friends erupt into fits of giggles, cackling and shoving each other.

After a couple of quick introductions, we decide to hit The Beaconsfield for a couple before Snowy’s shift starts at the Quernmore Road caff. Fast realising ‘a couple’ to Snowy means a two day bender, I can honestly say I haven’t recovered three weeks later. This white cat is one dark horse.

Photos by Mike Barry and via Snowy’s Twitter followers.

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