Winston Churchill’s cats

Do you know the Prime Minister of Great Britain during the Second World War, Rt. Hon. Winston Churchill was a great admirer of cat?

He always had a cat or two around him. During his premiership, he adopted a marmalade tom named Tango and a large tabby named Mickey.

On his eighty-eight birthday, he was given a marmalade tom by one of his private secretaries, Sir John ‘Jock’ Colville. He named the cat after his friend. The cat was well loved and spoilt. Rumour has it that meals in the Churchill household did not commence until Jock was present at the table.

Jock was said to be present on his deathbed in 1965. Sir Churchill dying wish is that there should always be a marmalade cat called Jock living a ‘comfortable’ life at his former home at Chartwell, Kent, and that the cat should resemble the original Jock, a marmalade with white bib and claws. As his wish, Jock VI is currently in residence and serves as greeter and ambassador of the Chartwell House. However, due to its nasty ‘cat-scratch’ on precious furniture, Jock VI is barred from entering the house.

Sir Churchill routinely dined in Pinafore Room of London’s prestigious Savoy Hotel. On occasions when his party numbered thirteen, he would asked for a ‘Kasper’ to be placed on the fourteenth seat to ward off bad luck energy. Kasper is a wooden 2ft-high feline sculpture designed and carved by architect Basil Ionides in 1927 for the purpose of filling up the fourteenth seat for a party of thirteen. So fond of Kasper, Sir Churchill would eventually ask for Kasper to be present at every meeting of The Other Club, a political dining club he had founded.