Stories of Cats

  • Venue


  • Time

    10:00 AM

  • Price

    £12.50 - £15.00

  • Book Tickets

“What greater gift than the love of a cat.” ― Charles Dickens

Home to Doorkins Magnificat, Southwark Cathedral are delighted to be hosting this day about cats.

Purr-fect for all cat lovers this day will include talks, poetry and the screening of award-winning documentry Kedi. Lisa Gutwein,author of Doorkins the Cathedral Cat will be joining us to sign copies. You can also meet the  volunteers from Greenwich based Catcuddles Cat Sanctuary who will be selling home-made cat related crafts to raise funds for all the wonderful work they do helping rehome unwanted cats in South East London.

Join us as we celebrate all things feline on what will be an ameowzing day!

Dr Kathleen Walker Miekle - Medieval Cats

Cats were everywhere in the Middle Ages and this lecture will explore the wide variety of medieval cats, from wild cats hunted for their pelts, snoozing domestic mousers, to the spoiled pets of monks and nuns. A wide variety of sources will be mined, including accounts listing expenditure for food (including cheese for a rather particular Exeter cathedral cat!), poetry, saints’ lives, fabliaux, Arthurian romances, and the huge amount of surviving iconography, from the battling cats and mice in marginalia to the surprising presence of cats in religious iconography, at feet of the Virgin Mary or present at the Last Supper.

Dr Kathleen Walker-Miekle specialises in the history of animals in the medieval and early modern period. She is currently a research fellow at King’s College London on the Renaissance Skin project. Her publications include Medieval Pets (Boydell and Brewer), Medieval Cats (British Library), Medieval Dogs (British Library), The Cat Book: Cats of Historical Distinction (Shire Publications), The Dog Book: Dogs of Historical Distinction (Shire Publications), The Horse Book: Horses of Historical Distinction (Shire Publications), among others.

Celia Haddon - What Science Tells Us About the Tiger in the Home

Cats – what science tells us about the tiger in the home. How they evolved, how kittens develop, how adults function in the human world. 

Celia Haddon is a bestselling anthologist whose books have sold well over 1,000,000 copies worldwide. She was the Daily Telegraph's pet agony aunt and is a reputed lover and worshipper of cats, having lived with them and loved them since she was a child. She has compiled a number of anthologies in their honour. She is also compiler of the best-selling One Hundred Ways series and a qualified cat behaviourist.

Britt Collins - Strays: A Lost Cat. a Homeless Man and their Journey across America

For fans of A Street Cat Named Bob and Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the WorldStrays is a compelling true story of a man who rescues a stray, injured cat and how they save each other.

Homeless, alcoholic, and depressed, Michael King lives in a UPS loading bay on the wrong side of the tracks in Portland, Oregon. One rainy night, he stumbles upon a hurt, starving, scruffy cat and takes her in. Nursing her back to health, he names her Tabor and she becomes a bit of a celebrity in southeast Portland. When winter comes, they travel from Oregon to the beaches of California to the high plains of Montana, surviving blizzards and bears, angry steers and rainstorms. Along the way, people are drawn to the spirited, beautiful cat and moved to help Michael, who cuts a striking figure with Tabor riding high on his backpack or walking on a leash. Tabor comforts Michael when he's down, giving Michael someone to love and care for, and inspiring him to get sober and to come to terms with his past family traumas and grief over the death of his life partner.

As they make their way across the West Coast, the pair become inseparable, healing the scars of each other's troubled pasts. But when Michael takes Tabor to a veterinarian in Montana, he discovers that Tabor has an identification chip and an owner in Portland who has never given up hope of finding his beloved cat, Michael makes the difficult choice to return to Portland and reunite Tabor with her owner. Now Michael must create a new purpose in his life after Tabor.

The authentic tale of an adventurous and charismatic cat and her compassionate human admirers, Strays proves the healing power of love and the profound bond between humans and animals.

Kedi - Screening

Hundreds of thousands of Turkish cats roam the metropolis of Istanbul freely. For thousands of years they’ve wandered in and out of people’s lives, becoming an essential part of the communities that make the city so rich. Claiming no owners, the cats of Istanbul live between two worlds, neither wild nor tame — and they bring joy and purpose to those people they choose to adopt. In Istanbul, cats are the mirrors to the people, allowing them to reflect on their lives in ways nothing else could.

Critics and internet cats agree — this cat documentary will charm its way into your heart and home as you fall in love with the cats in Istanbul.  

Cat Poetry

The feline has inspired poetic adoration since the days of the pharaohs, Poets across the continents and centuries have described the feline family-from kittens to old toms, pussycats to panthers-doing what they do best: sleeping, prowling, prancing, purring, sleeping some more, and gazing disdainfully at lesser beings like ourselves.  Poet Julia Bird joins us to recite well known and not so well know cat poetry including her much-loved ode to Doorkins Magnificat.

Lisa Gutwein and Rowan Ambrose - Doorkins the Cathedral Cat Book Signing

Meet Lisa Gutwein and Rowan Ambrose, author and illustrator of the celebrated book about our very own famous feline Doorkins Magnificat will be joining us to sign copies.

Kimberlie Hamilton - Rebel Cats - Brave Tales of the Feisty Felines Book Signing

Get your paws on the stories and secrets of some of history's most fascinating felines! Packed with real-life kittes, including life-saving heroes, champion mousers, Hollywood stars and even a brave little cat who tricked the Nazis (and lived to tell the tale) - these rebel cats are the stars of their owns tories.  With incredible fur-raising facts on cat activism, mystical moggies, cats on board ships and much much more - this beautiful book is purr-fect for cat fans of any age.

Catcuddles Cat Sanctuary

You can also meet volunteers from Greenwich based Catcuddles Sanctuary who will be selling cat related items, including homemade cat toys, to raise funds for all the wonderful work they do in resucing and rehoming cats in London and the surrounding areas.

Celia Pike

Professional artist Celia Pike is known for her paintings of cats. Featuring the family’s cats in domestic environments over the decades, many of the paintings have been published as greetings cards. Probably the most famous and adored feline model to feature in the card collection is Doorkins Magnificat of Southwark Cathedral herself! Celia will be selling a selection of her cards and prints at this event.