The most famous cat in Chislehurst has died after being alive for at least 19 years.

Chalky turned up out of the blue at the historic Chislehurst Caves in 1999.

He soon became the "mascot" of the tourist attraction after initially being happy to avoid people's company.

"Everyone gave him attention," Jason Destorte, who has worked at the caves for 12 years, told News Shopper.

"He had a presence and would jump on the counter when people bought tickets. He loved to be stroked."

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Chalky became so popular with visitors that stuffed toys and key rings were made in honour of him.

Jason said that after his death was announced, people as far as South Africa reached out to say they remembered Chalky from their visits years ago.

One of Chalky’s favourite pastimes was wandering the caves searching for mice when birthday parties used to be held.

However, this changed in 2005 when he accidentally became locked inside the dark caves for three days.

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"That really turned him off it," Jason laughed. "You could put a tin of tuna down there now and he wouldn’t go in."

Dozens of well-wishers have written to the Chislehurst Caves Facebook page to offer kind tributes.

Jason said: "I’m not the most emotional person in the world, but even for me this took a lot out of me."

Chalky died on January 9 "on his own terms" at Jason’s home.

"He went out with a full belly, he had a fuss and was in his soft bed," Jason recalled.

The popular cat was described as "the sweetest old thing" and everyone associated with Chislehurst Caves will miss him greatly.