He’s raised thousands for the Chorister Appeal, been immortalised in a range of merchandise from paperweights to fridge magnets, made the front page of national newspapers, starred in his own YouTube video, featured on BBC’s The One Show, and charmed hundreds of thousands of visitors to Wells Cathedral over the last decade.
But it was announced over the weekend that Louis the Wells Cathedral Cat, who retired from duty in 2016, has died.
The ginger tom was discovered as a stray in 2004 by a member of the Cathedral Yard team, Mark Rowe, and soon made his home in the spectacular 12th century Gothic Cathedral and was mostly seen fast asleep in a basket in the Cathedral Gift Shop or near a radiator.
He often strolled passed hundreds in the congregations to nonchalantly sit at the front as a service was ongoing, or to lie in his favourite chair, and was known locally as a terror to local dogs. But Louis had his own battles too – with heir apparent Pangur – this local tabby liked to steal his food and was often seen trying to hog the limelight.
He inspired his own biography, the children’s book, Louis the Cathedral Cat which raised money for the choristers as well as being honoured with his own range of goods in the Cathedral Gift Shop.
Jackie Croft, Wells Cathedral chief operating officer, said:
“It is with heavy hearts we say goodbye and goodnight to the gentleman, charismatic and adorable ‘Ginger Boy’. He will be greatly missed by all.”
Since his retirement he has been living with Mark Rowe, and his wife Ruth, both members of the Cathedral team. It was announced he died after a short illness on Thursday.