paddy-with-carole-paton

Is it the world’s first? A ginger and white cat in the Merseyside area is currently claiming the title of Chief Moggie Mourner as it is estimated he has attended more than one hundred funerals in the last few years.

Co-op Funeral Services report Paddy the cat regularly visits their Mayfield’s Woodlands Burial site. But is isn’t just a visit, as he regularly takes a seat in the front row or will even lead the coffin down the aisle. According to the press release, he has been known to sit beside people at the funeral, offering affection and comfort to those in mourning. In keeping with funeral-related puns, the article says Paddy has yet to be a paw bearer.

Owners Christine Jones and Stuart Hague rescued Paddy from a farm when he was an unwanted kitten. They live near the Co-op woodland site in the village of Eastham.

‘Sixth sense’ cat

Carole Paton, the funeral arrange for the Mayfield Co-op, says: “Paddy is such a special cat. He genuinely seems to have a sixth sense for when a funeral is about to take place, and will turn up just before to pay his respects. If the family then ask for him to stay, we allow him to attend.

“Every funeral we do at the Co-op is unique, but Paddy really does provide that extra special touch, helping provide comfort, affection and even entertainment for families at one of the most difficult times in their lives.

According to Ms Paton, the cat has “impeccable timing”. During one funeral service, he appeared outside a window just as the eulogy revealed the individual’s love of cats. Another time, a client had been arranging a funeral for her partner. The client had always wanted a ginger cat but her partner had never agreed. Paddy had strolled in, lightening he mood—as if, Carole said, he was a sign from beyond.

Cat ‘day job’

Paddy’s owners, Christina and Stuart, added that they have four cats, but they always knew Paddy had special qualities. He went missing three years ago and after the couple appealed for information, they found out about his ‘day job’ as Chief Moggie Mourner.

They said: “It didn’t surprise us at all. He absolutely loves people and is so well known in the local community, that he just wants to share his attention and time with those who are in need. It is so heart-warming to know that he provides such comfort to so many people when they need it the most. And when his day job has finished he comes back home and takes up his prime spots in our home for lots of his own fuss and attention.”

The Co-op has carried out research on pets and animals at funerals and found that they are playing an increasing role at funerals. Some three-fifths (57 percent) of funeral directors have had requests for pets to attend funerals, while a fifth (21 percent) have been asked for pet-themed funerals.

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