Churchill had a soft spot for cats. Many felines crossed paths with Winston throughout his life.
Since 1924, resident house cats have made10 Downing street their home. When Churchill took office as Prime Minister, he inherited a black cat from Neville Chamberlain. Still frustrated at Chamberlain’s appeasement policy towards Hitler, Churchill named the cat the Munich Mouser.
On Churchill’s 88th birthday, private secretary Sir John ‘Jock’ Colville gave Winston a marmalade cat (whom he named after Sir Colville) with white paws and chest. The Churchill family grew so found of Jock that a request was made following Winston’s death for a ‘marmalade’ cat with white paws and chest to always be at the Churchill home (Chartwell). Jock VI currently lives on the estate.
Churchill’s most well known cat, Nelson, was named after British naval Admiral, Horatio Nelson because he was “the bravest cat” Winston ever knew. Winston described how he “once saw him [Nelson] chase a huge dog out of the Admiralty [and] decided to adopt him and name him after [the] great Admiral.” Churchill was so fond of Nelson that he allowed his furry companion to sit in on war cabinet meetings. Unfortunately, Nelson was never photographed.