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The Washington National Cathedral officially welcomed its new Cathedral cat, a tortie they named Carmina, at the October 2010 Blessing of the Animals on the Feast of St. Francis.

Victoria Chamberlin, a staffer for the Cathedral Choral Society, the cathedral’s resident symphonic chorus,was the force behind Carmina’s adoption. She pled for the group to adopt Carmina during its audience sing-along of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana last June.

Carmina and her litter of week-old kittens were found in a deserted parking lot in southeast Washington, D.C. The little family was rescued by the Washington Humane Society and cared for by a foster family until the kittens were old enough to be separated from their mother. The kittens were quickly adopted, but Carmina was returned to the shelter.

After hearing Chamberlain’s plea, the choir agreed to bring Carmina to the cathedral for a one-month trial. She turned out to be a friendly, independent, and hard-working member of the cathedral’s staff.

They agreed to keep her, primarily because of her mouse-catching skills, which Chamberlain described as “impeccable.”

But Carmina does much more than protect the property from rodents. She welcomes cathedral staff to work in the morning and, after a day of exploring the outdoor areas, walking along pipes, and chasing toy mice, she comes back to the office for a nap, a snack, and some loving.

Carmina takes the place of Catherine of Tarragon, the much-beloved Cathedral cat who has retired in her old age to a home in North Carolina, said Chamberlain.

Were thrilled that Carmina has found a home as beautiful as the National Cathedral,” said WHS spokesperson Sabrina Fang.

[Sources: The Conscious Cat and Episcopal Cafe]