Every Wednesday afternoon, I had a therapy appointment in Southwark. After each appointment, feeling drained, sometimes sad, I would stop by the cathedral to look for Doorkins before I went home. I never found her: she was very good at hiding. But I found traces: a bowl here, a well-worn blanket there, the little things that say "this is home to a cat: this is a safe place". A friendly member of cathedral staff once asked if I was there for a service that was to begin shortly. Sheepishly, I replied "no, I'm here to see your cat", and she took me on my own personal tour of the cathedral, pointing out hiding places to check for a glimpse of this elusive little kitty.
One last Wednesday, I went to the cathedral, and having failed to find Doorkins again, I went to the Cathedral shop, and bought a fridge magnet (which has pride of place on my fridge), postcards that I pinned up by my desk at work. The shop attendant told me that sadly, Doorkins had just retired.
It might seem strange to some to be sad for the passing of a cat I never managed to meet, but that's the way we cat-lovers are. These glorious little creatures charm us and fill our lives with such joy, simply by being. I found comfort on those difficult evenings in just looking for her, and knowing she was around somewhere.
Rest well, Doorkins Magnificat.