Ginger tom cat comforts families at ­funerals

A friendly cat has been ­comforting families at ­funerals, leading the coffin in more than 100 services.

Paddy a ginger tom cat who is eight years old, is ­described as having a “sixth sense” for when a ceremony is set to take place at the woodland burial site.

Staff at Co-op Funeralcare say he “often sits himself on the front row or even leads the coffin down the aisle”.

He also sits beside mourners, ­offering affection, purrs and nuzzles.

His proud owners Christine Jones and Stuart Hague, who live near the burial site, rescued Paddy as a kitten.

Christina said: “We have four cats, but we always knew Paddy had ­something unique about him.”

Co-op funeral arranger Carole Paton said: “Paddy is such a special cat. He genuinely seems to have a sixth sense for when a funeral is about to take place and will turn up just before to pay his respects. If the family ask for him to stay, we allow him to.

“Every funeral is unique, but Paddy does provide that extra special touch, helping provide comfort, affection and even entertainment for families at one of the most difficult times in their lives.

“His timing is impeccable. During a service he appeared outside a window, just as the eulogy got to the part about the individual’s love of cats.”

The Mayfields Woodland burial site in Eastham, Wirral, has become Paddy’s home from home.

Carole said: “Once, when arranging a funeral with a client for her partner, it turned out she’d always wanted a ginger cat but her partner didn’t.

“Then in strolled Paddy, ­lightening the mood as if a sign from the beyond.”

Owner Christina added: “Three years ago Paddy went missing and, ­following an appeal, we learned of his day job at Mayfields.

“It didn’t surprise us at all. He ­loves people and wants to share his attention and time with those who are in need.

“It is so heartwarming to know that he provides comfort to so many people when they need it the most.

“And when his day job has finished he comes back home for lots of his own fuss and attention.”

Source : Various