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Cathedral Cats Richard Surman The ebook edition of Cathedral Cats that captures the fascinating life stories of cats who make their homes in and around the grandeur of Britain’s cathedrals.Find out about Tomkin, the patron cat of Chelmsford Cathedral, who was rescued from a derelict house in south London, or Olsen, the Siamese from Chester Cathedral whose nocturnal wanderings often end up at the local jazz club. From Boots of Ely to Winston and Wallace of Edinburgh, Cathedral Cats offers a distinctive insight into life in the environs of some of Britain’s most historic buildings.This is a unique way to discover some of Britain’s beautiful cathedrals, with plenty of feline interest along the way. Copyright (#ulink_ae9e1b6e-6460-5f70-af79-ab73a63849c5) Collins a division of HarperCollins Publishers 1 London Bridge Street, London SE1 9GF www.harpercollins.co.uk (http://www.harpercollins.co.uk) First published in Great Britain in 2005 by HarperCollins Publishers. Copyright © Richard Surman 2006 Richard Surman asserts the moral right to be identified as the author and photographer for this work. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the nonexclusive, nontransferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse-engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins e-books. HarperCollinsPublishers has made every reasonable effort to ensure that any picture content and written content in this ebook has been included or removed in accordance with the contractual and technological constraints in operation at the time of publication. Source ISBN: 9780007235636 Ebook Edition © MARCH 2015 ISBN: 9780007416882 Version: 2015-03-12 Dedication (#ulink_aaa2a5e8-6705-55a6-bcb8-20ac7da9415d) For my children and grandchildren Contents Cover (#u43f484c9-2afd-529b-a96e-fdc1123bdb07) Title Page (#uc5ccc834-80ed-5c34-9345-0ec751493880) Copyright (#ulink_1927376f-1989-5f96-81aa-fdabd9634c6d) Dedication (#ulink_80e9b64a-d362-513e-8f61-a30442b58b19) Introduction (#ulink_3ecd2ec7-79f6-5a0a-b7ed-5d002ca86bf1) St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds (#ulink_b1c136b7-75b3-59c5-a00e-fab78d4a2c83) Canterbury Cathedral (#ulink_db425968-9f82-54f2-bc73-c9c0279ecb6f) Chelmsford Cathedral (#ulink_4402f06b-e396-5538-9528-dc540f620433) Chester Cathedral (#litres_trial_promo) Chichester Cathedral (#litres_trial_promo) Durham Cathedral (#litres_trial_promo) St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh (#litres_trial_promo) Ely Cathedral (#litres_trial_promo) Exeter Cathedral (#litres_trial_promo) Gloucester Cathedral (#litres_trial_promo) Hereford Cathedral (#litres_trial_promo) Lichfield Cathedral (#litres_trial_promo) Portsmouth Cathedral (#litres_trial_promo) Ripon Cathedral (#litres_trial_promo) Rochester Cathedral (#litres_trial_promo) Salisbury Cathedral (#litres_trial_promo) Southwell Minster (#litres_trial_promo) Westminster Cathedral (#litres_trial_promo) Worcester Cathedral (#litres_trial_promo) Keep Reading (#litres_trial_promo) Acknowledgements (#litres_trial_promo) Other Books By (#litres_trial_promo) About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo) Introduction (#ulink_acb760fa-c390-5ffc-9bda-3397fc1af0d2) ‘A man has to work so hard so that something of his personality stays alive. A tomcat has it so easy, he has only to spray and his presence is there for years on rainy days’ Albert Einstein Steve Mellor in conversation with Wolfie I’m not shy about my enduring admiration for cats. I grew up with them, and carry the scars to prove it. I regularly perform the supreme and nauseating sacrifice of opening tinned cat food at six o’clock in the morning. They share my office, every nook and cranny of our home. They dig their claws into my shins as a sign of pure pleasure, and magically become a deadweight on my lap whenever I want to move. So what do I get in return? Good conversation, and (mostly) uncontentious company. No one will ever convince me that my own two Burmese cats don’t talk to me, and it’s not just about food either: the weather, politics, art; you name it, my cats have an opinion. Cats are the most fascinating, enchanting, exasperating and contrary of all nature’s creatures. They do not substitute for human relationships, they complement them. The cats portrayed in this new collection of Cathedral Cats cover the whole gamut, ranging from farm cats like Lichfield Cathedral’s Kim, to aristocrats such as Chester Cathedral’s Olsen and Hansen. But no matter what the lineage of each cat is, they all have these essential feline features in common: a flagrant disregard for rules and convention; an uncanny tendency to identify and do exactly the opposite of what is wanted; an innate belief in their right to go anywhere they want; an ability to soothe and lower one’s blood pressure; and astonishing grace and dexterity. It would be fanciful and romantic to imagine that in past times cats were welcomed into cathedrals for any reason other than their skills at keeping down vermin, but today the number of cathedrals that good-humouredly tolerate the presence of cats is impressive. Maybe it has to do with the type of person that lives and works in today’s cathedrals: independent, and perhaps slightly idiosyncratic – the ideal companion for such independent and idiosyncratic animals. Leofric, featured in Country Living As for the cathedrals, they are a strange combination of the magnificent and the everyday. On one hand there are the awe-inspiring architecture and settings of these great buildings, while on the other hand there are all the human elements that have brought about these monolithic expressions of faith and power. Even the grandest cathedral has its human aspect, in the lives of those who live and work in it, and in its history and construction. Many people helped me find a new line up of cathedral cats. In particular, I’d like to thank Pauline Hawkins at Lichfield Cathedral, Catherine Spender, Simon Lole and Alun Williams at Salisbury Cathedral, Tom Morton at Portsmouth Cathedral, Angela Prior at Canterbury Cathedral, Fiona Barnaby and Nicholas Fry at Chester Cathedral, Penelope Utting at Chichester Cathedral, Alison Chambers at Hereford Cathedral, Rosemary Murgatroyd at Ripon Cathedral, Sarah Friswell at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Anna Davidson at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Jackie Pope and Joanne Green at Westminster Abbey, Fiona Price at Gloucester Cathedral, Susie Arnold at Worcester Cathedral, Chris Stone at Rochester Cathedral and Stephen Wickner at Ely Cathedral. I’m also very grateful to Adam Munthe for providing me with a suitably eccentric and secluded hideaway in which to write, and of course to Ian Metcalfe at Collins for providing me with the opportunity to tackle anew a cherished topic, Cathedral Cats. Daisy and Lazarus (#ulink_9c910273-348e-574c-bc67-70ac1c5b23d3) St Edmundsbury (#ulink_9c910273-348e-574c-bc67-70ac1c5b23d3) ‘The cat, which is a solitary beast, is single minded and goes its way alone; but the dog, like his master, is confused in his mind’ H.G. Wells THE CATHEDRAL Unlike many of Britain’s cathedrals, the final shapes of which were more or less determined in the middle ages, St Edmundsbury has acquired its present appearance since the 18th century, with the central lantern tower only recently completed. Little of the substance of the original Benedictine Abbey of St Edmund remains, but there are some interesting remnants – the rebuilt abbey gatehouse, the excavated footings of the eastern end of the abbey, and the curious site of houses incorporated into the ruined western end of the abbey church. The present cathedral is half the length of the old abbey, which gives a pretty good idea of the scale of the original monastic buildings. With a home that borders leafy abbey churchyard grounds, a ruined castle and a large cathedral, Daisy and Lazarus have one of the most extensive territories of all the cats in this book. And for a cat named Lazarus, what more suitable territory than a graveyard! Catherine Todd, Rector of the Horringe Benefices, her husband Andrew, Residentiary Canon at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, and their three children, Benedict, Hannah and Lydia, live in a Georgian house that fronts on to the main road. Bury St Edmunds is a busy town, so the world outside the front door is a no-go zone for the cats. Fortunately for Daisy and Lazarus, the back of the house gives onto safer territory. It overlooks the delightful tree-lined promenades and crumbling gravestones of the old abbey churchyard, and enjoys a fine view of the entire length of the cathedral, complete with its magnificent new crossing tower. I was curious to know how far the cats roamed within this vast area, and Catherine thought that they went no further than the old abbey church. But I saw Lazarus nipping around the east end of the cathedral and heading for the knot garden and castle with the determination of someone who knows exactly where he’s going. The graveyard is Lazarus’s favourite playground The cats came from different litters of British Short-hairs. Lazarus was a weak kitten who had been abandoned, and the breeder placed him in the same litter as Daisy to see if he would revive, which he did – and received his name in tribute to the unexpected recovery. My brief observations of both cats don’t entirely align with those of the family. I was told that Daisy is more adventurous than Lazarus, but it was Lazarus that was slinking along the side of the cathedral, Lazarus who stalked off confidently in the direction of the knot garden and ruined castle; Daisy was just rolling around on an old gravestone and hiding under a neighbour’s car. The two cats live together in a state of entente demi-cordiale. They’ll occupy the same room, pass relatively close to each other – and that’s as far as it goes. Lazarus will insist on having the occasional tussle with Daisy; no one is sure why, as he always comes off worse. With this relationship of grudging tolerance in place, both cats generally go their separate ways. The gardens and riverside meadows are a popular place for picnics, but the two cats have not yet worked out the tourist potential for acting as a team. Maybe neither has the need, as Daisy has found out that chapter meetings can be pretty productive, especially in other people’s houses, where she can anticipate a variety of menus. For his part, Lazarus has developed some very strange food habits, principal among which is a passion for granary bread. Daisy, lurking by the cathedral Both cats have followed the construction of the new cathedral tower, from the shelter of the ruined western end of the old abbey church. The scaffolding has provided limitless opportunities for Daisy to view her kingdom while Lazarus, unimpressed by her acrobatic feats, is more interested in finding a friendly baker. Lazarus: a passion for brown bread Rhubarb, Fungus and Magic (#ulink_ce45b28f-6143-5422-a351-8e57a763b0a4) Canterbury Cathedral (#ulink_ce45b28f-6143-5422-a351-8e57a763b0a4) ‘One cat just leads to another’ Ernest Hemingway THE CATHEDRAL Canterbury’s imposing cathedral almost overpowers the city that surrounds it, in physical terms and also in the weight of its history. The original cathedral, built by St Augustine, was destroyed in a fire in 1067, and again fire destroyed much of its Norman replacement, although the shrine of St Thomas à Becket was spared (only to be destroyed later by Cromwell’s troops). The tombs of Henry VI and his wife Joan of Navarre, and of Edward, the Black Prince survived the Reformation. Today Canterbury Cathedral remains not just a tourist destination but a place of pilgimage and a worldwide symbol for Christianity. There is a cacophony of cats at Canterbury Cathedral – choir cats, school cats, canonical cats and visiting cats. Such a vigorous feline population is hardly out of character for a place that has always been a hive of activity; down the centuries Canterbury Cathedral has thrived on the visits of pilgrims to the shrine of St Thomas à Becket, and tourists come to see the tombs of Henry VI, his wife Joan of Navarre, and Edward the Black Prince. Magic: unmusical encounters with Fungus and Rhubarb in the cloisters Adjacent to the Great Cloisters, in a house that forms part of a medieval gateway, live two cats, Rhubarb and Fungus – mother and daughter. The household in which they live is best described as an ecclesiastical ark, and is presided over by Canon Edward Condry, Canon Treasurer at the cathedral, his wife Sarah and their four children, Fran, Felix, Jerome and Hannah, who are nominally responsible for regulating the animal affairs of the household. Fungus and Rhubarb are members of a varied household – both cats have had to make major adjustments to their natural inclinations; Fungus, when really pressed for somewhere peaceful quiet and warm to lay her head, pulls up the lid on Little Nell’s cage, clambers in and snuggles up to her (Little Nell is a guinea pig). As for the dogs of the house – Jumble, Tigger and Jim – the cats will sometimes use them as scratching posts, but for the most part, they are ignored. This approach has not been entirely successful: cats can cope with being ignored, but an ignored dog just tries harder and harder to attract attention. For an intent cat, there is nothing worse than a dog nosing in, butting the cat for attention and whacking its tail loudly against a nearby dustbin. If life gets a bit hectic they wander together over to the cloisters, where they charm the occasional edible treat from cathedral visitors. Occasionally their timing is out, and they come nose to nose with Magic, another cathedral cat at Canterbury. Rhubarb keeps a wary eye on the cloisters Magic also likes the cloisters. She goes there regularly and when she finds Fungus and Rhubarb there as well, the cloisters echo to distinctly unholy sounds: it’s a bit like buskers competing for space. Magic lived in the Condry’s old house before moving to another part of the cathedral precincts with her family, the Rev. Dr Canon Richard Marsh, his wife Elizabeth, and their daughter Phoebe. She loves her new house at the cathedral. At the end of a large private garden are the old city walls, on which she sits, watching the outside world scurry by. At the other end, the Bell Harry Tower rises majestically over the cathedral nave, in front of which can be seen the Corona chapel, the original home of St Thomas à Becket’s relics. Not even the dogs can follow Fungus out of the window Visits to the deanery are a regular item in her diary, although one day she had to explain indignantly – and ultimately unconvincingly – that she was only looking at the whole salmon laid out for lunch. And unlike Rhubarb and Fungus, Magic has found her way into the cathedral, another regular part of her perambulations around her precinct. The Good Friday services perplexed her a little: they are very long, so she distracted herself (and much of the congregation) by hopping on and off the canons’ stalls, eventually settling with a sigh of resignation to an extended grooming session. She enjoys being with the choir too: this seems to be a favourite pastime for cathedral cats, and Magic has stolen the show more than once! But on a quiet summer’s evening, with the cathedral almost entirely to herself, Magic likes nothing more than to stretch out on the throne of St Augustine, having a good wash while she plans the next day’s itinerary. Magic’s magical view of the cathedral Rhubarb and Fungus, trying unsuccessfully to ignore Tigger the dog Tomkin (#ulink_89969fa6-4f8f-58b7-a9a2-f1b3963dfbb8) Chelmsford Cathedral (#ulink_89969fa6-4f8f-58b7-a9a2-f1b3963dfbb8) ‘Most of us rather like our cats to have a streak of wickedness. I should not feel quite easy in the company of any cat that walked about the house with a saintly expression’ Beverley Nichols THE CATHEDRAL One of the smallest cathedrals in England, Chelmsford Cathedral serves the second largest diocese, with a population of over two and half million, covering some 600 parishes, as well as the suburban boroughs of East London. Bishop Maurice – Lord of the Manor of Chelmsford – inspired the bridging of the river Chelmer, and as a result of the regular flow of traffic between London and Colchester, a thriving settlement sprang up, and with it the parish church of St Mary. Rebuilt in the 15th century, the church finally became a cathedral in 1914. An important part of the welcome given to visitors of the new Cathedral Centre of Chelmsford Cathedral is provided by Tomkins, a splendid, portly black and white cat named after the Elizabethan composer Thomas Tomkins, and owned by Peter Nardone, organist and Director of Music at Chelmsford Cathedral. Tomkins is a rescue cat in every sense. When first found, he was in the garden of a derelict house in South London, frantically struggling to rid himself of a kitten collar, not because he disliked collars on principle, but because he was two years old, and the collar around his neck was for a six-month kitten: it was slowly strangling him. The fact that Tomkins had survived at all was a tribute to his strength and determination. Relieved of the collar, Tomkins was transformed into a character brimming over with gratitude and confidence, and through the efforts of the Cats Protection League, was introduced to Peter Nardone. Tomkins was Peter’s first cat (and Peter probably Tomkins’ first consistent human contact) and he rewarded Peter’s kindness with the kind of devotion more commonly expected of dogs. When Peter moved to his current position at Chelmsford Cathedral, he and Tomkins took up residence in a secluded house on the edge of the cathedral gardens, separated from the cathedral by the recently built Cathedral Centre, and a busy road – which Tomkins has the good sense not to cross. The cathedral is a modest, but airy and pleasing, gothic building and it is noted for its vibrant parish life and music, as well as being the venue for a renowned annual music and arts festival. There’s a softer side to Tomkins, not often seen by the neighbourhood cats Tomkins and Saint Francis of Assissi – an act of phoney contrition In a secluded grotto in the gardens stands a statue of St Francis of Assissi (patron saint of all animals), to which Tomkins started to pay regular visits. Some have speculated that in the cause of good public relations, Tomkins had decided that devout postures might serve as a diversion from his enthusiastic policing of other cats in the gardens. Whatever the explanation, Peter worries that over time the expression on the saint’s face seems to have become slightly less benign, more exasperated, almost disapproving; but maybe it’s just a trick of the light. Around the time of the lively annual festival, Tomkins entertains and is entertained by the artists, performers, international musicians and groups who pass through here. Tomkins also diverts the many visitors from North America who come to Chelmsford; the South Porch was enhanced in the 1950s as a tribute to the endeavours and sacrifices of USAF air crews based in the area during the Second World War. George Washington’s arms are also on display in the South Porch (his great-great-grandfather was a rector in Essex.) And if the choristers happen to be en route from the cathedral, he happily brings up the rear, rather like a sheep cat. But for all his adventurings outside the home, inside it Tomkins leads a tranquil existence: every day he goes, tail lifted in greeting, to meet the postman. He always calls when the newspapers come through the letter box (though this may have more to do with his habit of sleeping on the doormat than a deliberate policy of helpfulness). Конец ознакомительного фрагмента. Текст предоставлен ООО «ЛитРес». 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