Gargoyles and grotesques are a form of holy decoration. Grotesques are both decorative and functional. Grotesques deflect water away from the building while gargoyles are part of the guttering – water from the gutter flows through the gargoyles mouth and away from the building.
There are 112 grotesques and gargoyles (G & Gs) decorating Washington National Museum and some are cats! Great. The Church in general has been ambivalent about cats. The Russian Orthodox Church valued cats. Some Roman Catholic Popes loved cats but we know about the persecution of the cat by the Church for hundreds of years from the 1480s onwards. Cats often represented evil.
The cathedral publishes some information about their G & Gs. If you are interested you can read about the north wall cat grotesque (2nd one) by clicking on the following link: Washington National Cathedral North Side G & Gs (the link opens a new tab or window in your browser).
Below are three photographs of cat grotesques from this cathedral:
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