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More East End Cats

April 1, 2013
by the gentle author

Spitalfields Life Contributing Photographer Chris Kelly is making a survey of the esteemed felines of the East End, and today it is my delight to publish more of her portraits of famous cockney cats and their human admirers – from Bethnal Green, Spitalfields and Moorfields.

Tiny & Kristofj von Strass

Tiny & Kristofj von Strass at Beyond Retro, vintage clothing shop on Cheshire St

“Iʼm from Nice and Iʼve worked at Beyond Retro for four years, but Tiny was here before me. Iʼm told she just turned up on the doorstep one day, and sheʼs happy here and sheʼs very good with customers.

Tiny has met many of the celebrities who shop here and become a celebrity herself, featured in a double page spread in ‘Your Cat’ magazine, as well as appearing in several street style books and music videos. She likes sitting on the counter so she can see the customers and sheʼs often in the office. Tiny tends to stay in more as she gets older though usually takes a walk in the morning.

I love cats, but my flat is too small so itʼs good to have a cat at work.”

Sally at The Old King’s Head

Sally & Rita Kalkauskiene at The Old Kingʼs Head, Holywell Row

“You can call me the manager if you like – I donʼt really have a title, I just do everything. Weʼve had the pub for five years and we have a good mixture of customers.

The cat is Sally. We took her in about three and a half years ago from someone who was homeless. We did have a Harry and a Sally, until Harry disappeared – we think he was stolen. Everyone adores Sally, they come here to see her not to see me, and she just loves the customers, especially the men. She does go out but is very careful. I often see her sitting in the window watching people and, when I come into the bar in the morning, sheʼll be stretched out full-length on one of the ledges.”

Oskar at Lik & Neon

Oskar & Makita


Browser & Makita

Bobby & Katie

Oskar & Bobby & Makita & Browser & Janice Taylor & Katie Anstey at Lik & Neon

Katie – “The cats here are becoming famous partly, I think, because of the cat cafe thatʼs going to open in the East End. We had a German TV crew in yesterday. Bobby is my favourite – if he was human weʼd be dating. Heʼs always getting into scrapes, scamping outside in the car park and getting dirty. Last week, he got diesel oil all over his paws and had to go to the vet to be cleaned up.

The big tabby is Oskar, he has a very strong personality and heʼs a bit of a boss cat. Heʼs constantly challenging territory with Bobby, although they go around together a lot of the time. Bobby is such a ladiesʼ man, he loves it when four or five girls are petting him in the shop. Itʼs lovely to see them first thing in the morning – they sit in a row on the high wall in the yard waiting for us to arrive and give them breakfast.”

Janice – “The cats lived here from the start – this is an animal-enhanced environment and some people visit just to see them.

The small tabby is Makita. She used to live in my carpentry workshop and sheʼs named after the tool brand. She and Browser, both females, sleep together and groom each other, and they tend to keep themselves to themselves. Makitaʼs mother is completely black and she was named Gap by some French people who were fascinated by the Underground. Unfortunately, she and Makita fight so Granny Gap lives at home.

Tiny lived here too but she went missing and we searched for nine months before discovering sheʼd been living at Beyond Retro half a mile away on Cheshire St.”

Browser & Janice

Lik & Neon, Sclater St

Photographs copyright © Chris Kelly

Chris Kelly’s THE NECESSARY CAT – A PHOTOGRAPHER’S MEMOIR is available from many independent bookshops including Brick Lane Books, Broadway Books & Newham Bookshop.


You may also like to see

East End Cats (Part One)

The Cats of Spitalfields (Part One)

The Cats of Spitalfields (Part Two)

Blackie, the Last Spitalfields Market Cat

and read about

Mr Pussy in the Dog Days

Mr Pussy is Ten

Mr Pussy in Winter

The Caprice of Mr Pussy

Mr Pussy in Spitalfields

Mr Pussy takes the Sun

Mr Pussy, Natural Born Killer

Mr Pussy takes a Nap

Mr Pussy’s Viewing Habits

The Life of Mr Pussy

Mr Pussy thinks he is a Dog

Mr Pussy in Summer

Mr Pussy in Spring

7 Responses leave one →
  1. Mary permalink
    April 1, 2013

    Sally the cat looks like she is posing for a Hello magazine camera shoot!

  2. Greg Tingey permalink
    April 1, 2013

    Mrowll …. WHrrrr ……
    The “Seven Stars”, in Carey street, lost their old cat, Tom Paine, last year … but the new one is very friendly.

  3. Elizabeth cornwell permalink
    April 1, 2013

    I work at Alnwick Castle & we have a castle cat called Bunyip,the visitors love him & he features on castle postcards & maps.I think all cats love an audience.

  4. April 1, 2013

    So sweet! Especially love the one of Bobby and Katie–he looks so very happy! ♥

  5. April 1, 2013

    Absolutely adore these cat posts! I’ve never noticed Tiny in Beyond Retro before but will definitely take a look next time I’m in. In addition, thanks to the introduction to Lik & Neon – looks like a great shop and I plan to visit soon.

  6. April 2, 2013

    I love cats and I definitely think that they are a great company despite what people say.

  7. James Frankcom permalink
    April 4, 2013

    I’m a big fan of the slightly corpulent animal that graces The Pride of Spitalfields on Heneage Street. This is a cat that reserves its own table and tells others when they sit in its seat.

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