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Cockney Cats

February 4, 2022
by the gentle author

These are Cockney Cats by Warren Tute, with photographs by Felix Fonteyn from 1953, in the archive at Bishopsgate Institute

Micky is the centre of the Day family of Copley St in the parish of Stepney. The whole family pamper him and have a wonderful time

Bill on weekdays, William on Sundays, the cat at the Bricklayers Arms in Commercial Rd has a wonderful life since the Guv’nor Jim Meade was once a Dumb Animals’ Food Purveyor. At seventy-seven Jim looks back on a long and distinguished life in Stepney during his thirty-two years as Guv’nor.

Yeoman Warder Clark & Pickles on Tower Green

On duty at the Tower of London

The tail-less cat of the guardroom who came out to watch Pickles being photographed

Min, Port of London Authority cat has many friends among the dockers and very good ratting at night

Min of the magnificent whiskers has made her home in the office of K Warehouse in the Milwall Docks

Customs & Excise cat guards the Queen’s Warehouse and is paid a Treasury Allowance of sixpence a day

Mitzi has the run of her ship from the lifeboats to the Officers’ Mess

Old Bill the railway cat, his favourite position is the entrance to Blackfriars Station

Old Bill takes cover when necessary in the rush hour

Tibs the Great (1950-64), the official Post Office cat at Headquarters, does not normally live in this 1856 pillarbox

This cat’s curiosity unearthed a box of ancient stamps and seals, some dating back to Queen Anne

Minnie the Stock Exchange cat was a self-willed and determined kitten who adopted the dealing floor as her own preserve

Minnie enjoys the banter in the tea room

Tiger of The Times is the best office cat in Fleet St

Tiger of The Times is equally at ease whether in the Board Room …

… or doing his rounds in the Print Room

Sneaking back into Lloyds of London is difficult even for the resident cat

Cecil is the Front of House cat at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Cecil is very elusive in his many hiding places from which he has to be coaxed by the Royal Waiter before the performance can begin

When thirteen people sit down to dine at the Savoy and the thirteenth guest is Jimmy Edwards, almost anything can happen. The famous black cat is invited to occupy the fourteenth place so that everyone can enjoy the sparkling conversation.

Bill at the Tower of London (1935-47)

Images courtesy Bishopsgate Institute

You may also like to take a look at

Schroedinger, Shoreditch Church Cat

Doorkins Magnificat, Southwark Cathedral Cat

East End Cats

The Cats of Spitalfields (Part One)

The Cats of Spitalfields (Part Two)

The Cats of Elder St

Blackie, the Last Spitalfields Market Cat

14 Responses leave one →
  1. February 4, 2022

    A wonderful story about the dear cats. Once again I am so reminded of my neighbour’s cat CHICO — where will he be now? What is he doing? And how is he…?

    Love & Peace

  2. Steve Hanscomb permalink
    February 4, 2022

    What wonderful photographs! A really cheery post for a Friday!
    Each one a little character in really interesting settings. Thank you!

  3. Andy Strowman permalink
    February 4, 2022

    A really special photo albun evoking sentimental memories for me.

  4. February 4, 2022

    Wonderful pictures, thank you so much, dear G.A.

  5. Catherine Morris permalink
    February 4, 2022

    A few of my local pubs have a resident cat now. All well loved and excellent mousers

  6. February 4, 2022

    What a glorious array of felines……..each one a distinctive character. Well, of course!

    We’ve been cat people for a very long time, and got into the habit of naming all of our cats
    (over the decades) with “S” names. Scooter, Spike, Sweetpea, Stanley-from-Livingston-We-Presume, Spiff, Seymour and Satchmo. And current new kittens, Simon and Stella.

    My theory: When life gets complicated, hold a cat on your lap.
    Rumbly purrs to Mr. Schrödinger.

  7. Paul Loften permalink
    February 4, 2022

    Cats are a treasure
    Always a pleasure
    At work or at leisure
    Your tolerance they measure

    Thank you for the history of these great cats.

  8. Mark permalink
    February 4, 2022

    Gor blimey, luv a duck treacle, them top hats is luvverly gov. Gawd bless ya me old china!

  9. Sue permalink
    February 4, 2022

    Love cats, love photos, love this post. ?

  10. Victoria Strauss permalink
    February 4, 2022

    This is wonderful. I love “Bill on weekdays, William on Sunday.”

  11. Derek Bailey permalink
    February 4, 2022

    Bluebelle and Lily, my rescued cats, give this article a definite two paws up from Colorado, USA.

  12. Doug permalink
    February 4, 2022

    What a charming series of felines! I am mildly intrigued about the fate of Bill’s grave as I can’t seem to locate any additional information online. I wonder if it’s possible to pay our respects to the gentle cat at the Tower of London or this is something that has been lost in the sands of time.

  13. Sue permalink
    February 4, 2022

    What a wonderful selection of feline friends.

  14. Susan Elizabeth Martin permalink
    February 5, 2022

    Lovely post about lovely cats

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