London’s Southwark Cathedral Hosts Memorial Service After ‘Enormously Popular’ Resident Stray Cat Dies

(CNN)London’s famous Southwark Cathedral is traditionally recognized for its architectural significance.

But in recent years the Gothic cathedral, which stands on the south bank of the River Thames, became known for another reason — the presence of a stray cat, affectionately named Doorkins Magnificat, who made the building her home for 12 years before passing away on September 30.

In an unusual move, Andrew Nunn, the Dean of Southwark Cathedral hosted a service of thanksgiving, which was live streamed on Wednesday.

“She was enormously popular and had a massive Twitter following — and was also the focus of a lot of people’s visits to the cathedral,” Nunn told CNN, adding that some people who could not have their own cat in central London even saw her as their own pet.

“When she died the response was huge, and we knew we had to do something — there was no way in which we could just ignore the fact — and why would you, we loved her, and she gave a lot to our life,” he said. “It felt entirely appropriate.”

Doorkins Magnificat — or Doorkins for short — made Southwark Cathedral her home in 2008 after visiting between Christmas and New Year in search of food.

Over the years, she became a common site at the church — whether sprawling across the pews, sauntering across the altar during a service, or catnapping in the hay of the nativity scene at Christmas time.

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Source: CNN