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Thousands attend virtual memorial service for beloved church cat

Cat in church cat-wow
© Southwark Cathedral - Facebook

Over 20,000 people attended a virtual memorial service for a church cat who died aged 11. The Church Dean, Andrew Nunn, said, "She changed our lives for the better."

By Ashley Murphy

Published on the 06/01/2021, 11:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:23

Doorkins was a skinny street kitten when she turned up outside Southwark Cathedral back in 2008. Up to then, she'd survived by begging (and sometimes stealing) scraps of food from the nearby market traders.

So when she realised that life as a church cat was much better than being a stray, Doorkins decided to make the Cathedral her new home.

A memorable life

Doorkins soon captured the hearts of the church congregation, clergy, and any visitors. She even had an audience with a visiting Queen Elizabeth, although Doorkins wasn't particularly impressed by the occasion. The independent kitty gave the Queen a quick sniff before resuming with a more pressing matter - her afternoon nap!

"Doorkins was nice and friendly," said one parishioner. "But she set the pace in every relationship. She always did things on her terms."

The Cathedral even created a special line of Doorkins-themed merchandise, including greeting cards, mugs, fridge magnets, and house mats. She also featured in a children's book and gained over 6,000 followers on her Twitter account.

As she got older, Doorkns developed kidney problems and began losing her sight. She then retired from mouse-hunting duties, spending her days lazing around the church instead.

And sadly, Doorkins passed away earlier this year following a stroke.

A "godsend"

Around 22,000 people attended a virtual service to see Doorkins cross the rainbow ridge. Dean of Southwark Andrew Nunn led the service, giving a moving speech to honour this extraordinary cat.

"She brought much pleasure and joy to her many fans and followers," said The Dean. "Doorkins was a godsend. She did more to bring people to this place than I will ever do."