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If you are fortunate enough to visit the beautiful and historic Southwark Cathedral on the banks of the River Thames in London, you might also be lucky enough to meet one of the cathedral’s most charming inhabitants: Hodge, an adorable black-and-white cat who calls this impressive place home.

Photo property of Bridget Davey Photography

Southwark Cathedral Has A Long History Of Art, But Cats Are A Fairly New Addition.

Churches have occupied the site of Southwark Cathedral for more than one thousand years. But the main structure of the cathedral was built between 1200 A.D. and 1420. It’s truly a treasure trove of medieval art.

But Hodge is only the second feline to call this gorgeous structure home. A PURRstegious honor bestowed upon him after a rough start in life.  

The Southwark Cathedral as seen from the London Bridge

Hodge supurrvising his world:

The Outdoor Life Hadn’t Been Easy For Gentle Hodge, But Then Some Kind People Stepped In.

One woman on her way to work noticed the black-and-white waif who “looked really poorly,” in the summer of 2020 in Woolwich, South East London. As she approached the cat, she noticed it had an injured lower jaw. But as kids ran towards the feline,  it escaped in fear. Fortunately, Cat Cuddles Sanctuary captured the cat, and he was on his way to a new life.

As you can see in the photo below, poor Hodge clearly needed help:

His lower jaw was a real mess with a neglected growth that had grown massive. His previous owners failed to seek the veterinary care he needed.

Cat Cuddles notes:

“Thankfully he was surrendered into the care so that he could begin urgent treatment at our North London cat clinic, and narrowly avoided the need for surgery to remove the growth. He has since made a full recovery.”

And with their help Hodge went from the streets to finding his inner strength and will to survive. He reminded people of another local feline who had found a place in their hearts. 

The Cathedral Lost Doorkins Magnificat In September 2020 And Everyone Missed Her Dearly.

Doorkins Magnificat spent all of her golden years at the cathedral, where she resided for more than a decade. Everyone missed the presence of a cat but needed time to heal. They were in search of a very special cat indeed to fill the void she left behind and to help continue her legacy. And everyone believed Hodge was the perfect cat for the situation.

“Hodge is an extremely rambunctious, adventurous, and friendly cat,” Cat Cuddles added. “His official adoption date by the Cathedral is the 6th of December, which in the Anglican tradition is considered the feast day of Saint Nicholas, a date for exchanging gifts. What better gift can we offer our friends than the love of a special feline?”

Doorkins Magnificat made friends with everyone at the cathedral. But she, just like Hodge had a rough start in life.

She spent her days foraging at the Borough Market. Until one day, when she decided to rest on the steps of the famed institution. It’s lovely to know her days were filled with love and lots of attention, something she likely didn’t get in her days on the street.

Now Hodge Rules The Roost.

“One year later and Hodge is firmly settled at the Cathedral, where he regularly entertains visitors, interrupts sermons, and wanders the beautifully ornate and historic halls,” Cat Cuddles shared on their Facebook page. “He is much loved by the team there, by the Southwark community, and by thousands of fans from all over the world via social media. One year ago his life was very, very different. His journey has been nothing short of amazing.”

Hodge gets lots of cuddling…

He has mastered the art of the photobomb…

He has plenty of things to explore…

And places to explore…

Photo property of @speediemeadie66

That means there are things to see (and no, we don’t know what he’s looking at. He is a cat, so likely spirits or sky raisins)…

Hodge is a part of everything there.

This cutie is definitely one well-loved cat. His is a rewarding story and deservingly so, he’s gained quite a following.

And he has lots of admirers, even including some of the canine variety.

Hodge’s popularity has even inspired a cute line of merchandise:

Just As Sweet Doorkins Did, Hodge Now Has A Wonderful Life.

“Just like Doorkins before him, a stray who was ushered into the Cathedral on a cold day, Hodge’s story has resonated with many,” Cat Cuddles writes. “It’s a testament to the power of acts of kindness to transform our lives in wonderful and unprecedented ways, and to inspire others into similar acts themselves.”

“Happy rescue anniversary Hodge — long may you reign in Southwark.”

Let’s hope Hodge will be here for many years to come!

Photo property of @speediemeadie66

Photos property of Southwark Cathedral/Facebook (except where noted)

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