They call him Louis the Cathedral Cat, but apparently this British feline is not as angelic as people think. The 17-year-old ginger feline, the beloved mascot of one of England’s most famous churches, has been accused of recently attacking dogs in his town “like a wild lion.”
He’s big news in England this week, where media outlets are all over the story of the church cat – who sleeps in a basket and starred in his own children’s book – gone rogue.
As a stray 10 years ago, Louis began living at the 12th-century Wells Cathedral, the home to the Bishop of Bath and Wells. The great mouse-catcher became so popular that a whole series of Louis souvenirs – wine-stoppers, refrigerator magnets, pencils, clocks and the like – are sold in the church’s gift shop, where he sleeps in a basket.
But residents of the town of Somerset have accused Louis of recent vicious attacks on their dogs.
Mandie Stone-Outten told The Guardian that her springer spaniel Millie was jumped near the church by a cat that looked like Louis.
“This dangerous, semi-feral cat pounced like a wild lion in the jungle on to my dog Millie’s head,” she said. “Be aware – this ball of fluff is not as cute and cuddly as he looks.
“A lot of people have told me that they’ve never seen him like this before, but I think they’re just trying to protect him.”
There have been two other recent attacks on dogs by a ginger tom of late. One happened right outside the cathedral’s grand west side, where Louis is known to roam.
But some people believe it’s all a case of mistaken identity.
Stone-Outten herself said she went to the cathedral a couple of days after the attack on her dog and saw Louis sleeping in his basket in the gift shop. “We started stroking it and it was just like a little teddy bear. I couldn't believe that it was the same cat,” she said.
A cathedral spokesman told the Guardian that “it’s difficult to say whether it was Louis, unfortunately. While he can be rather aloof with our visitors, we know of at least two other ginger cats in the area who also enjoy strolling through the streets of Wells.
“Most importantly, we do hope the dog and her owner have recovered from the experience which must have been a shock for them both.”
Check out Louis’ YouTube video and you decide if Louis could be guilty of these devilish deeds.