A 3-year-old tabby cat has declared himself the owner of the small Essex town of Hockley that lies around five miles from Southend On Sea. Shortly after 4pm yesterday, the Miles family moved into their new house on Alderman’s Hill, and within a few minutes their pet moggy Reginald emerged from his cat carrier and took up a slightly menacing position on their front wall before declaring himself the new owner of the whole town.

Their neighbour Harry Morris described the moment that his new overlord was crowned. He said: ‘As soon as he got out of the car, he got up on the wall and just started staring at everyone and everything. He had no expression on his face of anger or happiness, he just gave everyone a neutral glare and that’s when we knew that Hockley had seen a bloodless coup. We tried making rude gestures at him when he paused to lick his underneath areas, but every time we approached him he just stopped his routine and glared at us again. ‘

He added: ‘This guy seems a bit different to the other cats in the area. Another cat challenged his leadership shortly after his arrival, and instead of just staring at the challenger and growling for 45 minutes with the occasional hiss Reginald just got stuck in and punched him in the whiskers. He isn’t messing around.’

A spokesperson for Rochford District Council said: ‘We have already been involved in discussions with Reginald’s representatives and the good news is that it is now business as usual for Hockley. We may be forced to implement a small council tax increase via Hockley Parish Council to cover Reginald’s proposed Canine Repatriation Scheme, but he was keen to stress that the town of Hockley will thrive and flourish under his leadership.’

Homer the tortoiseshell has been living in the area since 2013, and he feels that it is great news for Hockley. He said: ‘Word has already spread about our new leader, and everyone is frantically covering up two weeks’ worth of unhidden business before the first inspection takes place tomorrow. It’s about time we took our town back.’