In the United Kingdom, stately homes are sometimes left to the nation. They seldom have a permanent resident, if you don’t count mice and housekeepers. One National Trust house, however, goes out of its way to ensure it is always occupied – by a fat marmalade cat. This house is Chartwell, the home of Sir Winston Churchill. “Sir Winston requested in his will that there should always be a marmalade cat named Jock in comfortable residence at Chartwell.”
Sir Winston Churchill was crazy about cats – particularly marmalade ones, which would sit next to him on a specially reserved chair. Churchill owned a marmalade cat that he named Jock, after Sir Jock Colville, one of his private secretaries. Jock meant so much to Churchill he attended many wartime cabinet meetings with him. In compliance with Churchill’s wishes, the National Trust – which inherited Chartwell on his death – has since acquired ginger cats called Jocks II, III, and IV, and now, Jock V has taken up residence in the house. Having been rescued by Cats Protection, he was then adopted by Chartwell’s house and collections manger Alice Martin in 2010.
Jock V started out living in the top flat in the house and spent his time exploring and being pampered by office staff. He also developed an unlikely love of water and will jump into the sink at every opportunity.
Jock V ventured out into the grounds in spring of 2011, and visitors to the property are now able to see him.