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Where’s that cat?

Jock IV

Jock IV

I’ve just got back from Chartwell, Winston Churchill’s former home in Kent, where a gardener told me the story of Jock, Churchill’s much-loved marmalade cat. Given to him by Sir John Colville (whose nickname was Jock) in 1962 on his 88th birthday, Churchill was incredibly fond of the cat and left a note in his will that there should always be a marmalade cat called Jock at Chartwell. The original cat lived until 1974, when The National Trust then had to scour the country to find a suitable ginger kitten with white patches on its paws, chest and nose. Today Jock IV is in residence and apparently he’s not earning his keep. The elusive feline spends most of his time hiding and not doing the things he’s supposed to, such as sunning himself on walls, rubbing himself around the legs of visitors or rolling in cat mint. ‘He usually comes out when the garden is shut and everyone has gone home,’ said the gardener, who was bemused at my interest and spent ten minutes trying to find the cat before deciding they really ought to get back to their work. So, I was unable to snap Jock IV myself, but here’s a pic taken by The National Trust. As a lover of such trivia, I wondered if anyone else knows of any other gardens that have a famous animal or animals in residence.

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