- Seven-month-old rescue kitten Jock VI came to Chartwell in Kent this month
- He is the latest in a line of Jocks, named after a pet given to Churchill in 1962
- Cat enjoys eating tuna, taking afternoon naps and lounging on Persian rugs
- PM requested that there always be a marmalade cat named Jock at Chartwell
PUBLISHED: 06:02, 11 March 2014 | UPDATED: 12:57, 11 March 2014
A new kitten has taken up residence at Sir Winston Churchill's former country home in honour of one of the wartime prime minister's dying requests.
Jock IV is the latest in a line of marmalade toms to live at Chartwell in Kent after the first was given to Churchill in 1962 by one of his private secretaries.
He enjoys eating tuna, taking afternoon naps and lounging on Persian rugs - but is not so keen on bright lights, being left alone or listening to opera.
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A new home: Jock VI inspects a Churchill statue at Chartwell, left, and gives close-up pose, right. His arrival honours Churchill's wish that a marmalade cat with a white bib and socks should always live at the estate
On the prowl: Jock VI investigates the gardens around Sir Winston Churchill's former country estate in Kent
Sir John 'Jock' Colville gifted the first marmalade tom to Churchill on his 88th birthday - and the great man named him after his friend and took assiduous care of the animal.
It was rumoured that meals would not start at Chartwell until Jock was at the table - and the cat is even reported to have been on the wartime prime minister's bed when he died at his residence in London in January 1965.
The beloved animal passed away nine years later and is now buried in the pet cemetery at Chartwell.
Following Churchill's instructions after his death, his family asked that there should always be a marmalade cat named Jock with a white bib and four white socks living at the estate
Great man: Sir John 'Jock' Colville gifted the pet to Winston Churchill (pictured) on his 88th birthday in 1962
Des res: Jock VI now has the whole of the Chartwell grounds to roam, after Jock V moved to Scotland
The National Trust, which was left the property by the Churchill family in 1966, has always honoured the request and this month welcomed Jock VI, a seven-month-old rescue kitten.
Jock VI, or Malley as he was previously known, was rescued by Croydon Animal Samaritans before being adopted by Chartwell’s house and collections manager, Katherine Barnett.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME A CHARTWELL CAT?
The primary role of a Chartwell cat is to interact with visitors and roam the estate's extensive grounds, according to the National Trust.
The trust says the 'job' involves:
- Roaming the estate and its grounds
- Being petted by visitors on a daily basis
- Bringing alive the spirit of Chartwell
- Coping with humans posting pictures and cat-related anecdotes on social media
- Acting as a good ambassador of the National Trust by exercising a 'friendly and courteous' manner to visitors
And the role would suit cats that are:
- Marmalade with a white bib and socks
- Knowledgeable about Churchill
- Currently living at a rescue centre
- Affectionate, inquisitive, welcoming and playful in nature
- Happy to give tours of the estate
- Keen to be petted by children
- Experienced at posing for photographs
Trust officials said he takes afternoon naps, eats tuna and lounges on Persian rugs at Chartwell, which has a green cat-flap approved by an historic buildings inspector.
However, the cute kitten shies away from bright lights - and has an unusual dislike of opera music.
Today, Ms Barnett described Jock's arrival at Chartwell as 'a modern-day rags-to-riches story'.
'Jock VI has had a difficult start to his life, but as the saying goes, a cat will always land on its feet. I’m delighted with Jock,' she said.
'He’s a very caring, loving cat and I think our visitors will get lots of enjoyment from seeing him around the property for many years to come.'
Churchill's affection and patience for cats was clearly visible to those around him during his time at Chartwell, according to Fred Glueckstein, writing for The Churchill Centre.
Speaking at the 1987 International Churchill conference, his secretary Grace Hamblin said: 'He loved cats. He always had a cat, if not two.'
Ms Hamblin recalled that the politician had once greeted one of the house's cats with 'Good morning' - before shooing the animal away with some papers when the cat remained silent and still.
He later asked her to put a card in the window saying 'if Cat cares to come home, all is forgiven'.
She added: 'Cat did come home several days later with a wire round his neck. Given cream and the best salmon and so on.'
Churchill adopted a number of cats during his reign - two of which were a large tabby named Mickey and a marmalade tom called Tango.
During one amusing incident, the prime minister was reportedly speaking on the telephone to the Lord Chancellor when Mickey started playing with the telephone cord.
Family: Churchill is pictured at the Kent-based estate with his son Randolph (left) and daughter Diana (centre)
Churchill shouted 'Get off the line, you fool!' - before realizing his mistake and turning back to the Lord Chancellor, saying: 'Not you!'
In recent years, Jock V left Chartwell when its owner, the former house and collections manager at the property, left as well.
A trust spokesman said: 'The pair had such a close bond, they stayed together and are both now living in the Scottish countryside.'
Anna Nikolic, a trustee and senior fosterer with Croydon Animal Samaritans, said: 'We’re delighted to have found such a loving home for Jock and know Katherine and the team at Chartwell will provide for all his needs.
'We hope to give all our rescue cats this happy-ever-after ending, and would encourage anyone looking for a family cat themselves to get in touch with us.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2578050/New-marmalade-kitten-installed-Sir-Winston-Churchills-country-estate-honour-dying-wish-wartime-prime-minister.html#ixzz2vewHrNzX
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