Jock VI Relieves Jock V as Official Host at Churchill’s Home
A changing of the guard took place this past month as Jock VI succeeded Jock V as the official feline of Chartwell Manor, Winston Churchill’s country home near Westerham, Kent. Churchill dearly loved animals and had many pets during his long life including dogs, cats, birds, pigs horses and sundry other creatures. His last pet was an orange tabby cat given to him as a birthday present in 1962 by his long-time private secretary Sir John “Jock” Colville and thus named for the giver. Churchill asked that there should always be such a cat residing at Chartwell. The National Trust, which took over the property after Churchill’s death in 1965, has always honoured the request. The purrfect arrangement continues to surprise and delight visitors.
Jock V left in March when its owner, the former house and collections manager at the property, departed for the Scottish countryside. Seven-month-old Jock VI was selected to take on the heavy mantle of responsibility. The kitten, previously known as Malley, was rescued by Croydon Animal Samaritans before being adopted by Chartwell’s house and collections manager, Katherine Barnett. Trust officials say he takes afternoon naps, eats tuna and lounges on Persian rugs at the house. “It’s a modern-day rags-to-riches story,” Ms Barnett said. “Jock VI has had a difficult start to his life but, as the saying goes, a cat will always land on its feet. “He’s a very caring, loving cat and I think our visitors will get lots of enjoyment from seeing him around the property for many years to come.”