There are many stories illustrating Churchill’s love of cats. One of his feline friends named Cat ran away after Churchill yelled at him. Churchill put a sign in the window of his home that read “Cat, come home, all is forgiven.” Cat did return home and was given special treats to regain his favor.
During World War II, another of Churchill’s cats, a black tomcat named Nelson, followed him everywhere and attended many important meetings at 10 Downing Street.
Of all of Churchill’s cats, the one probably best remembered was a marmalade cat named Jock. The cat was given to him as an 88th birthday gift by his private secretary, Sir John Colville. Colville’s nickname was Jock, and the cat was named after him. Jock, sitting on Churchill’s lap, was included in formal photos of a grandson’s wedding. Unfortunately, Jock only got to spend two years with his owner before Churchill passed away. Jock sat on the bed by Churchill until he passed away. Jock remained a member of the family until he passed away in 1974. He is buried in a pet cemetery on the Churchill family grounds.
Churchill’s will stated his family estate, Chartwell, would be left to the government. The British government turned Chartwell into a national monument. One stipulation in the will was that a marmalade cat named Jock would always be in residence on the grounds. Churchill was very specific about the orange cat that would live at Chartwell. He must have a white chest, white paws and always be named Jock.
There’s a new Jock in residence now at Chartwell. The new kitten was formally named Malley, but his name was changed to Jock VI. He has his own Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/chartwellnt