This picture of Hodge, the Southwark cathedral cat, posing with his own soft-toy replicas is probably my favourite picture on the internet atm pic.twitter.com/MFTMPYfeLA
— Alex 🇬🇧🏳️🌈 (@ChaoticCentrist) August 12, 2021
To put it crudely, Hodge, is a replacement for the previous Southwark Cathedral resident cat, Doorkins, who passed away peacefully in September 2020. Hodge was rescued in the summer of 2020 we are told by the Southwark Cathedral website. He was discovered on a street in Woolwich, south-east London (further east along the Thames). He had a growth on his face which is unspecified but he was rescued by the Catcuddles Sanctuary. The growth did not need surgery and apparently resolved itself with treatment. He has made a full recovery and is now “an extremely rambunctious, adventurous, unfriendly cat.”
He is also a very popular cat with his own social media account. The picture on this page comes from Twitter, for instance, where it has been re-tweeted over 3,700 times as at the date of this post. The number is climbing due to his popularity.
The picture is nice and well-constructed. Hodge is obese which is sad. I don’t want to be critical but they should not have let him get into this condition. It’s taken about a year for him to be transformed from a skinny rescue cat to an obese, loved Cathedral cat. It’s wonderful that he has a beautiful home and that he is admired but I think that those food treats need to stop!
I have visited Southwark Cathedral. As you might expect, it is a very pleasant place, very peaceful and near the Thames. One of London’s landmark buildings, The Shard, overlooks it. It’s a great part of London to visit especially now that the city is reopening after Covid.
I love the plush toys in the picture with their eager, inquisitive eyes looking at the real thing. They are well constructed too. Southwark Cathedral have been very clever in publicising their church through the celebrity of the cathedral cat.
Cats get talked about more than Cathedrals. On that note, I suspect they realised that it would be a good idea to constantly have a celebrity Cathedral cat which has worked out very well. And you have the obligatory merchandise too, such as these plush toys which all adds to income, a vital ingredient in a successful Cathedral.
P.S. I think the name Hodge (about 1769) was inspired by the famous Hodge who was one of Samuel Johnson’s favourite cats. The statue of Hodge is at 17 Gough Square, North London, which is within a good walk of Southwark Cathedral, on the south side of the Thames.
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