by Catcuddles Sanctuary

Doorkins appeared at the doors of the Cathedral on a cold night in December 2008, searching, as so many stray cats are, for food, warmth, and refuge. Within a matter of days, she’d made herself firmly at home in the grand Grade I listed building. 

The Cathedral, which has been a place of Christian worship for over 1,000 years, is central to the rich community of Southwark, and it did not take long for the enigmatic Doorkins - and her habit of gatecrashing church services - to gain fans among the local congregation. 

Soon, her story spread far beyond the London borough that she called home, far beyond what anyone could have predicted, until Doorkins had gained admirers from all over the world. In her typically aloof, feline manner, she entertained thousands of visitors throughout her tenure, including the Queen in 2013. She even inspired a book.

The power of Doorkins’ story was used to help other stray and homeless cats, with the Cathedral supporting our rescue work at Catcuddles on numerous occasions. The charity is the recipient of a regular donation bank at the Cathedral, and has been a continual presence at its annual Christmas market. We remain proud to call the administration there our friends and partners.

In September 2020, Doorkins passed away peacefully, having retired from the Cathedral in her senior years. Catcuddles volunteers were honoured to attend her memorial service, and to receive donations for the charity in her memory. When those who Doorkins’ called family had begun to heal, we were also honoured to offer them the gift of another deserving feline; Hodge. 

Hodge was rescued in the summer of 2020, after being discovered on a street in Woolwich, South East London with a horrific growth on his face, a condition that his previous owners had neglected to seek veterinary treatment for.

Thankfully, he was surrendered into the care of the charity so that he could begin urgent treatment at our North London cat clinic, and narrowly avoided the need for surgery to remove the growth. He has since made a full recovery.

Hodge is an extremely rambunctious, adventurous, and friendly cat. His official adoption date by the Cathedral is the 6th of December, which in the Anglican tradition is considered the feast day of Saint Nicholas, a date for exchanging gifts. What better gift can we offer our friends in Southwark than the love of a special feline?

As was the case with Doorkins, when Hodge’s story began, no-one could have predicted that he would one day call such a beautiful, culturally and historically important building his home. His life has been transformed, from one of neglect and uncertainty to a life full of love and security, with the capacity to touch others, just as his predecessor did. 

CatCuddles founder Evina Koroni said of the adoption;

“Hodge is destined to be the ever tolerant and serene, loving companion of many at Southwark Cathedral, which he will be calling home for the rest of his long life. We could not have found a more worthy feline to fit the privileged role of a service cat, or one as gentle to follow on Doorkins Magnificat’s paw prints.

We are grateful for all at the Cathedral and know that Hodge is in multiple pairs of capable hands who will pay attention to every detail we worked through together to keep him safe, healthy, and happy.”

Although there is no replacing Doorkins Magnificat and what she meant to so many, through the adoption of Hodge, another deserving cat, her positive impact on the world endures.

To find further information about Catcuddles Sanctuary please visit the link here