Rome - The story of a cat who visits his master's tomb and brings him little presents on an almost daily basis a year after the man's death has moved the inhabitants of a small town in northeast Italy.

“He brings little twigs, leaves, toothpicks, plastic cups. A bit of everything really,” Renzo Iozzelli's widow Ada told AFP on Friday from the mediaeval town of Montagnana near Venice.

“Sometimes he comes with me and sometimes he goes on his own. The whole town knows about him now!”

Toldo the cat - a grey-and-white three-year-old tomcat - followed Iozzelli's funeral procession last year and has continued going to the cemetery ever since, a habit usually ascribed to dogs.

“He loved my husband. It was something else! Now it's just me, my daughter and my son-in-law and he's very affectionate with us too,” she said.

Ada said the journey to and from the cemetery each day had tired Toldo out in the cold winter weather.

“He's not going out so much these days. He's caught a bit of bronchitis so he's sleeping next to me.” - Sapa-AFP