The Cat Whose Name Lives On

Sir Winston Churchill (November 30, 1874–January 24, 1965), loved cats and other creatures.  Notably, there was Cat - who ran off one day after Churchill yelled at him.  Churchill put up a sign in the window that said, "Cat, come home, all is forgiven."  Cat came back. 

There was also Nelson (supposedly named after the famous British Admiral), who served as "a prime ministerial hot water bottle" in important meetings.  Sometimes the cats had their own special chair placed next to Churchill.

When writing his memoirs, Sir Winston was observed with a bird on his head, a cat sleeping in his lap, and a poodle stretched across his feet.  At one point while in residence at Downing Street, some children gave him some goldfish they'd won at the fair. He became an expert and kept goldfish ever after.

The most enduring, however, was a ginger/mamalade cat with white chest and feet named Jock, who had been given to Churchill on his 88th birthday by his private secretary, Sir John Colville.  But their time together was brief, for Jock was only 2 years old when Churchill died in 1965.  Jock sat with Churchill on the bed when he died.  Jock remained at Chartwell, the Churchill family residence in Westerham, Kent, until he passed away in 1974, and is buried on the grounds.

But Jock remains at Chartwell in name and spirit.  Churchill's will left Chartwell to the government, and the property was made a national monument by the National Trust.  The bequest stipulated that the property must always have a marmalade cat named Jock in comfortable residence.  Per freelance writer Alison Kagamaster in 2008,  Jock IV is the current marmalade cat in residence.

Stall, Sam, One Hundred Cats Who Changed Civilization, Quirk Productions Inc.. 2007

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