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Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Jock VI the marmalade cat settles into new role at Sir Winston Churchill's former home of Chartwell

11 March 2014
by KentOnline reporter

A new tuna-loving resident is taking up its feline duties at Chartwell... thanks to a special request from the Churchill family.

Jock VI is a marmalade cat with a white bib and four white socks, exactly as the wartime leader would have wanted it.

For, on leaving their home to the National Trust in 1966, the Churchill family requested there would always be a marmalade cat named Jock, with a white bib and four white socks, in comfortable residence at Chartwell.

Jock VI is making himself at home at Chartwell. Picture Iain Carter, National Trust

Jock VI is making himself at home at Chartwell. Picture: Iain Carter, National Trust

The property has always honoured this request and has this month welcomed Jock VI, a seven month old rescue kitten, to the property to take up this unique role.

Jock VI is settling into his residency and has developed quite a mischievous character.

So far he has taken a liking to afternoon naps, tuna, Persian rugs and cuddles, but does not like heights, lightning or opera.

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.


 Churchill cat facts 

  • Jock I was Churchill's own beloved cat. It was an 88th birthday present for Churchill in November 1962 and came from the RSPCA
  • The cat was named Jock after one of Churchill’s private secretaries, Sir John ‘Jock’ Colville, who had given Churchill the cat
  • The original Jock meant so much to Churchill that he attended many meetings with him and rumour has it that meals in the Churchill household did not start until Jock was present at the table
  • Jock I was only two when Churchill died in 1965, but lived on until 1974 at Chartwell and is now buried in the property’s pet cemetery
  • Chartwell has a green cat-flap approved by the Historic Buildings Inspector! 

Katherine said: "It’s 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; 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."

Anna Nikolic, one of the trustees and a senior fosterer with Croydon Animal Samaritans, adds: "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."

Jock VI on the Churchill Statue at Chartwell. Picture Iain Carter, National Trust

Jock VI on the Churchill Statue at Chartwell. Picture: Iain Carter, National Trust

Jock VI purr-uses Churchill's former gardens at Chartwell. Picture Iain Carter, National Trust

Jock VI purr-uses Churchill's former gardens at Chartwell. Picture: Iain Carter, National Trust

Jock V retired from public life when the former house and collections manager left Chartwell. The pair had such a close bond, they stayed together and are both now living in the Scottish countryside.

For those four-legged candidates keen to apply for the role when it next becomes available, there's a job description.

It says the successful candidate will snooze at various times of day; be able to spot a good suntrap, will love children and being petted and happy to give tours of the garden (aka being followed).


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