A seven-year-old girl whose mother died in a house fire faces having to give up the cat she shared with her mum due to a dispute with a housing association.
Kaitlin and her pet Jack moved in with her aunt after the fire in 2013.
But Jack faces eviction following complaints he is fouling in hallways in their West Sussex apartment block.
Kaitlin said she would not be able to recover from the sadness of losing Jack. Hyde housing association said they hoped to come to an arrangement.
An online petition to be submitted to the Hyde Group, called “No more loss for Kaitlin”, has had more than 2,000 signatures.
Karine Charrett, Kaitlin’s aunt, said Jack was found three days after the fire by neighbours.
“It was one of my sister’s wishes that Jack was looked after, so he’s been with us ever since,” she said.
She disputed claims Jack was urinating in the building and said: “We always check the hallways at night, we go and check and make sure.
“There isn’t anything. We’d soon know when we come home because you know you’d be able to smell it. You can’t.”
“If he (the cat) went, I wouldn’t be able to recover from the sadness,” Kaitlin said.
She added that without Jack, she would “feel lonely all the time”.
Carol Jones, from the Hyde Group, said: “We do have a policy across all of our apartment buildings that we don’t accept cats and dogs in those buildings.
“But I absolutely understand Kaitlin’s point of view. Let’s sit down, let’s talk, and let’s hope we can come to some kind of arrangement that works for everybody and is fair for everybody.”