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Churchill's Chartwell

PUBLISHED: 18:53 18 May 2014 | UPDATED: 18:53 18 May 2014

Jock VI in Churchill's Garden, credit Iain Carter

Jock VI in Churchill's Garden, credit Iain Carter

Archant

Meet the marmalade cat who has taken up residence at Sir Winston Churchill's Westerham retreat

Churchill was known for 
his love of cats, and was given a handsome marmalade cat on his 88th birthday by his private secretary, Sir John ‘Jock’ Colville, in 1962.

The cat accompanied Churchill to 
many meetings and even travelled 
to London with the wartime Prime 
Minister on more than one occasion.

In honour of this close relationship, when they presented the property to the National Trust in 1966, the Churchill 
family stipulated that there should 
always a marmalade cat with a white bib and four white paws living at Chartwell.

Big paws to fill

There have only been five Jocks at Chartwell since that time. The original 
Jock, who was only two when Churchill died, lived at Chartwell until his own 
death in 1974. He was buried in the 
pet cemetery in the grounds.

Jock V was the most recent feline 
to vacate the position, moving to Scotland with his owner, the former house and collections manager, who couldn’t bear 
to part with him when she moved on 
from Chartwell late last year.

Jock VI was originally rescued by Croydon Animal Samaritans before 
being adopted by Chartwell’s house and collections manager, Katherine Barnett.

Formerly known as Malley, Jock VI will live with his new owner in one of the top flats at Chartwell and will have the run 
of the extensive gardens and mansion (with the exception of the showrooms).

There’s even a green cat flap, approved by the Historic Buildings Inspector.

Larger than life

Jock VI is already showing signs of being 
as large a character as Chartwell’s famous former resident. He is very friendly and comfortable around people.

Jock is also said to enjoy afternoon 
naps, Persian rugs and cuddles, while expressing clear disdain for heights, lightning and being on his own.

Katherine Barnett, pictured below, 
says of her new charge: “When Jock VI 
was rescued he was in a bad state, pawing at a window to be let out, with paint on 
his fur. He hadn’t been vaccinated or neutered and was showing signs of neglect.

“I am thrilled that we can offer him 
a new life of luxury here at Chartwell, 
with 80 acres of gardens, abundant 
wildlife and a constant stream of doting visitors to offer attention and love.

“We think Churchill would have approved of our choice and hope that 
Jock VI has many happy years as the Chartwell cat,” adds Katherine.

Jock VI can be seen wandering around the gardens at Chartwell, which are open 
to the public every day. The house, 
too, opens daily, with many fascinating items and memorabilia on display.

Visitors can also enjoy a browse in 
the gift shop or some delicious treats in 
the newly refurbished restaurant to 
round off their trip. n

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