Paddy is an eight-year-old ginger tomcat. While he is absolutely adorable, he’s laying claim to the title of Chief Moggy Mourner – since he’s believed to have attended more than 100 funerals over the years.
Paddy the cat is based in Wirral, in Merseyside, where he’s a regular visitor at Co-op Funeralcare’s Mayfields Woodland Burial Site.
Whenever there is a funeral underway, he doesn’t just act as a spectator, he gets involved. Paddy often helps himself to a seat in the front row, and even leads to coffin down the aisle. Paddy has also been known to sit next to people, offering up his comfort and affection.
Paddy came as a rescue from a farm where he was an unwanted kitten, by his owners Christine Jones and Stuart Hague. He now lives in the Eastham village, close to the woodland burial site.
Carole Paton, Funeral Arranger for the Co-op at Mayfields 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.”
Carole added, “His timing is impeccable. During one funeral service he made an appearance outside the window, just as the eulogy got to the part about the individual’s love of cats. And once when arranging a funeral with a client for her partner, it turned out the client had always wanted a ginger cat, but her partner had never agreed. Then in strolled Paddy, lightening the mood as if he was a sign from the beyond.”
Paddy’s owners Christina Jones and Stuart Hague, said, “We have four cats, but from a kitten we always knew that Paddy had something unique about him. Three years ago Paddy went missing, and following an appeal, we learned of his day job at Mayfield’s. 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.”
Research from the Co-op reveals that pets are becoming more of a presence at funerals. There are 57% of funeral directors that have had requests for pets to be allowed at funerals. And there have been 21% of funeral directors who’ve been requested for pet-themed funerals.
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.
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