Barney, the cat who wandered through the cemetery to comfort the mourners in Guernsey, United Kingdom, has died of old age. This ginger tabby kitty spent 20 years walking the grounds of a church burial site. He was consoling those who were visiting their loved one’s graves.
Unfortunately, on 26th February 2016, Barney died of old age and has been laid to rest at the St Sampson’s Cemetery. Barney’s death has led to an outpouring of grief from the local community as people paid tribute to this much-loved cat.
One of the groundskeepers at the cemetery, Alan Curzon said that Barney has now been laid to rest at the place where he spent his entire life brightening up the lives of hundreds of people during their darkest moments.
The popular cat originally lived with his owners’ right next to the St Sampson’s Cemetery in Guernsey. Barney’s owners moved away but he kept to his previous territory and was eventually re-homed there.
Alan, 63, the cemetery sexton who has helped look after Barney since 1996, said that everyone was just devastated.
“When relatives and friends have suffered the awful loss of someone close to them and go to visit a cemetery they are not in the best frame of mind but Barney was always there to cheer them up.” – Alan said.
“For those who entered the cemetery with a heavy heart, he lightened up the experience for them. When people walked through the gates, he often came up to them and brushed against them.”
“There was not a bad bone in his body.”
“We are putting a plaque on the wall and a bench and have found a little space for him in the cemetery where he is buried as well.”
“The place won’t be the same without him and his death has left a gap. I have already seen a lot of people in tears and we are very upset, but he had a good life and was well looked after.”
Alan said that Barney was well cared at the cemetery, fed every day. Barney even had Christmas presents left for him.
“He was owned by the people who lived next door but they moved and he kept making his way back to what was his territory that eventually we made him a home there and he stayed.” – Alan added.
“We would look after him and he would provide a lot of comfort to a lot of people.”
“He had his own house but would spend his days wondering around. If he heard a car coming he would make himself known and was so friendly.”
“I have been here 20 years and he was just a kitten then – he was born in 1996.”
“He did not have to worry about a think, but I must stress it was not just me looking after him. There were a lot of people that took him to their hearts.”
Timothy Dack, the Rector of St Sampson’s Church said that he carried out a lot of funerals at the cemetery and said Barney always offered a comforting presence.
He said: “I think the presence of Barney brought a lot of comfort to so many people.
“Whenever I was taking a funeral up there families were so happy to see Barney milling around. The mourners would see him and it would bring them a lot of joy.”
“I just think he gave them great comfort. I know he was well cared for by a number of people.”
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