Deaf church cat is pet of year

The Rev Chistine French with Florence.
The Rev Chistine French with Florence.

A deaf cat that was fostered by a vicar and is a regular at church has been voted your purrfect pet.

Feline Florence proved she’s the cat whiskers when she received the most votes in the Pet of the Year competition.

Her owner, Reverend Christine French, from Kirk Hallam Parish Church, was delighted to receive the news .

She told how Florence, who is a five-year-old rescue cat, is a regular at the church and had become popular among the congregation. She especially loves a wedding because there are plenty of people to give her a fuss.

Rev French said: “We always lived in quiet places so she wasn’t defined by her disability. It’s only when we moved to Kirk Hallam that she became a ‘deaf’ cat because of the traffic.

“She’s not interested in Ladywood Road though, she’s more bothered about the church and gets in through a cat flap in the back door. She’s not scared of dogs because she can’t hear them bark, and might bite them on the nose.

“When she sees cars at weddings she always wants to come for a bit of fuss.”

Florence is unable to hear the church organ so happily curls up underneath it.

Rev French said: “Wheras other cats don’t like the organ she can’t hear it. I have been stood in the pulpit preaching when she’s been meowing. She comes in and makes herself at home. She’ll go under the organ and come out covered in cobwebs so she doesn’t look as white.

“She’s also friendly with funeral directors, though I don’t think they like the white fur on their black outfits.

“It makes me realise that we should look at what someone can do not what they can’t do.”

Rev French, 47, and her husband Lester foster cats at the vicarage and are currently looking after six others cats including a 17-year-old.

She added: “Rescue cats make fantastic pets.”