This cat story dates back to 1460 and took place in Yorkshire, England. Political leanings often led to imprisonment, as was the case for Sir Henry Wyatt, who supported Henry Tudor’s claim to the throne. The monarch at that time, King Richard III imprisoned Wyatt in the Tower of London, where Wyatt was subjected to torture, starvation and freezing conditions.
Then, one day a stray cat made his way between the bars of Wyatt’s cell and befriended the man. The cat began bringing pigeons he’d caught and killed to the prisoner, and Wyatt convinced his jailers to cook the birds for him. Because of his pigeon “deliveries”, the cat became known as Wyatt’s caterer.
The cat’s deliveries helped sustain Wyatt until Tudor ousted Richard III from the throne. Tudor released Wyatt, he was given wealth and a title and lived to the ripe old age of 80. It’s not known if Wyatt found a way to help his feline rescuer after he was released from prison, but Wyatt came to make a fuss over every cat he met. Any picture found of Wyatt shows a cat by his side.
Today, two churches in Maidstone feature a stone memorial to Wyatt. The inscription on the memorial recognizes the help Wyatt received from his feline friend, and reads: “imprisoned and tortured in the Tower, in the reign of King Richard the Third, kept in the dungeon, where fed and preserved by a cat.”
To read more about Wyatt and the cat caterer, check out http://bit.ly/ZiyVed
If you’re interested in more cat stories of extraordinary felines, check out 100 Cats Who Changed Civilization by Sam Stall, available on Amazon.
Photo Source: Flickr