Friendly cat Budge joins cathedral congregation for a paws on the pews
PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:43 26 January 2019
Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk
He has been known to gatecrash cathedral events, make his presence known during morning prayer and even invite himself into the Dean's home.
But despite his sometimes mischievous behaviour, he has firmly become part of the Norwich Cathedral family.
Budge the cat first wandered into Norwich Cathedral during the 2018 Good Friday service, with members of the clergy surprised to see a four-legged friend joining them.
Since then, Budge, whose owners live in Cathedral Close, has been spotted sleeping in the nativity scene and the pews, and has even been provided with his very own bed in the vergers’ office.
Jane Hedges, Dean of Norwich, said: “I think the first time Budge came in and started making himself at home was during the Good Friday service, which is obviously a very solemn day in the church year.
“We were just about to start when one of the vergers said there is a cat in here. We took him outside but he kept on coming back in.”
The dean added that since his first appearance Budge has been back almost every day, and has become a firm favourite with cathedral staff, visitors and members of the congregation alike.
He has even created his own routine, which includes being one of the first in and out of the building and regularly attending evensong.
She said: “He has made himself at home. There are quite a lot of people in the congregation who have taken to him.
“One of the things we have found is that he is brilliant if somebody comes into [the cathedral] and they are distressed, they often make a beeline for the cat.
“Sometimes, people feel that they can relate to an animal, when words might not be able to do what they need, an animal can be very therapeutic, and children love him.
“He’s a lovely cat and he’s very relaxed about being picked up.”
Like many 21st century cats, Budge can be found on Twitter and may soon star in his own book.
The dean said: “We have been thinking about a story book because he gets into lots of different places.”