Saturday, March 15, 2014

There's a New Cat in Town

The "British Bulldog" had a soft spot for cats. Sir Winston Churchill was gifted a marmalade cat on his 88th birthday in 1962 and fell in lurv. He named the cat after the gift giver and his private secretary, Sir John "Jock" Colville. Churchill loved his little feline friend so much, he requested that after his death there would always be a marmalade cat named "Jock" at his home at Chartwell in Kent. There have been stranger dying wishes right?

Churchill's love for the feline companion goes back years. In 1935 he said of his cat, Tango, "The cat treats me well very graciously…When I dine alone, and only then, she awaits me on the table." After the gracious Tango, came the brave Nelson. An American war correspondent quoted Churchill as saying, "Nelson is the bravest cat I ever knew. I once saw him chase a huge dog out of the Admiralty. I decided to adopt him and name him after our great Admiral." The correspondent said, "When Mrs. Churchill was not looking, the Prime Minister sneaked pieces of salmon to Nelson." Allegedly, Nelson would attend cabinet meetings and once Churchill told a colleague that Nelson was doing more than he was for the war effort. In his later years, people close to Churchill said that he wouldn't permit a meal to start unless Jock was at the table. Churchill was that guy.

The National Trust, who was left Churchill's property in 1966, has always honored his request and they are now on doppelgänger number six, Jock VI. The Jock dynasty could be the longest in British history.

Image sources: Telegraph and Taylor Young Photography

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