A cathedral in London has held a memorial service for its celebrity cat named Doorkins Magnificat that recently died, 12 years after strolling into the church premises as a stray cat.
During her twelve year stay in Southwark Cathedral, the cat reached celebrity status: meeting the Queen, starring in a children’s book and having her own social media accounts.
The memorial ceremony was done on Wednesday October 28, a month after her death, after suffering a stroke.
The thanksgiving service was held under the cathedral’s Gothic arches before she was laid to rest in the churchyard.
Andrew Nunn, the dean, told the congregation. “In more normal times, we often host memorial services for the great and the good. But I don’t think there’s ever been a service for a cat.”
According to Nunn, the story of Doorkins’ life had meaning beyond the simple narrative of a cat finding a new home. She had sought and found sanctuary in a church. “She arrived, she entered and we made her welcome. People concluded that if this little cat is welcome, maybe I am too,” Nunn said.
“No way was she a lap cat. She could be nice at moments but only on her own terms, and she could lash out when she’d had enough. She set the pace in every relationship,” said Nunn.
Going commercial, the cathedral developed a range of Doorkins Magnificat merchandising: greetings cards, mugs, mouse mats and fridge magnets.
In line with Covid-19 regulations, a maximum of 30 people were permitted to attend Wednesday’s service.