The Church Cats

Meet Simon!

portrait of Simon

To adapt a popular phrase, cats are what happens when you’re making other plans. After we lost Jake and Jeoffry, Fr. Warren planned to wait a while before looking for new feline residents. But you don’t find a cat - the cat finds you, and so it was that a little fellow we named Simon showed up in July 2012 and immediately took charge. Simon is now a strapping 15 pounds and always eager to make new friends, so stop by and say hello!

Exploring other orders of ministry? (photo by Ciaran Anthony DellaFera, MD, BSG)

Saying his prayers on a Lenten morning

Helping Fr. Warren fill out the service register
Simon waiting for Mass
Simon waiting for Mass (photo by Fr. Wood)
Simon goes to Mass
Simon’s idea of serving Mass (photo by Fr. Wood)
Simon at Vestry meeting
Simon attends a Vestry meeting
Simon meets Hudson
Are you a strange-looking cat?
Simon makes a friend
Simon is friendly with everybody.
hello Simon
Simon says hello!
cow kitty
Showing off some of his striking markings
Simon on chair
He’s made himself right at home ...
Simon on baby couch
Claiming the kitty bed ...
Simon with cat scratcher
... And the scratch-pad ...
Simon with turboscratcher
... And the ball-chase-scratcher toy.
Simon on computer
Time to get to work!
Simon and the Rector
Helping the Rector write email ...
Simon watches the printer
Quality control on the Sunday bulletins.

In Memoriam

Jeoffry and Jake died within a month of each other in the spring of 2012. We miss them terribly. These photos of them will remain here as memorials. An obituary of Jake which appeared in the Beacon Hill Times follows the photographs.

Jake and Jeoffry in the office
What are you doing up there?

The church cat population increased when Max came in from the cold - literally - after a snowstorm. Max now lives happily at the Rectory - see below.

portrait of Max
Max with box

Keeping the parish running ...

Jake says his prayers
Jake saying his prayers ...
Jeoffry at Annual Meeting
... and Jeoffry monitoring the Annual Meeting

Exploring the Parish Gardens...

Jake on garden bench
Jeoffry in garden
Jeoffry and Jake in the garden looking around
Jeoffry and Jake in the garden looking the other direction
Jake disappearing into the flowers while Jeoffry looks on
Jake silly, Jeoffry attentive
Jeoffry behind a chair

A Poem for the Church Cats

Going to church:
Jeoffry outside the church doors
Jake at church door

What cats do best: sleep! (Anywhere)

Jeoffry asleep in baby toy
Jake asleep in baby seat
Fr. Warren with the cats
Father Warren reminds the cats who keeps them fed...
Jake takes time to smell the flowers
Jake sniffing crocuses
"Supervising" preparations for Mass
supervising preparations for Mass
A favorite vantage point
cats atop closet in sacristy

What exactly does a Church Cat do? The 18th century poet Christopher Smart left us a lyrical, if eccentric, job description, which beautifully details the life of an honored feline (and explains where our Jeoffry got his name).

And why two Church Cats? Because no one cat could ever replace the incomparable Bradley!

Cats make reluctant subjects for portraiture.
Jake and Jeoffry with their 'Chief of Staff'


Come summer,
winter’s hearth huggers
find the parish garden,
join early comers,
lay back ears,
lash tails
at birds
and interlopers.

Morning sun haloes
Jeoffry’s black coat…
Jake’s black and white
accepts his washing ritual ~
and loving pats.
Morning coffee is a blessing
in the company
of cats.

June A. Knowles
For Jake and Jeoffry ~ our parish cats
September 4, 2005

Jake and Jeoffry under the influence of catnip
Jake obituary
Jake’s obituary from the Beacon Hill Times
letter to bht
a reader’s letter responding to the obituary

Other Advent Animals

Jake and Jeoffry may be the kings of the Hill, but they are not the only creatures associated with the Advent ...

Max, Lucy, and Black Louis run the Rectory.

Max on table
lucy in the window
louis on the counter with dish
louis on the counter

And then there are the wild creatures who live nearby...

raccoon on fire escape
A raccoon relaxing on the Parish House fire escape
sparrow hiding in tympanum
"The sparrow hath found her an house" (Ps. 84:3) -
on the tympanum over the Mt Vernon Street doors
(see below - the nest is in the structure over Our Lord's head)
Photo of tympanum
Quite possibly the most predator-unfriendly nesting site in Boston protects the nest from:
photo of red-tailed hawk perching on spire cross
This red-tailed hawk is frequently seen perching on the cross atop the spire