O Misfortuna: Cathedral Cat Chased Over the Rainbow Bridge


Just over a year ago, my good friend and fellow cat blogger Ingrid King of The Conscious Cat introduced the world to the Washington, D.C., National Cathedral’s newest staff member: a sweet tortoiseshell cat adopted from the Washington Humane Society to serve as the cathedral’s resident mouser and morale officer.

The cat was given the name Carmina, after Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, a musical cantata the church’s choral society was performing at the time.

Yesterday, Ingrid once again reported on Carmina, but this time the update wasn’t so happy.

Carmina Chant Schuman was making her rounds on the sidewalks near the church last November when, as witnesses reported to the church, a dog frightened her and she ran into the street, where she was hit by a car and killed.

She had been on the job for just over a year.

It sounds from all reports like Carmina led a wonderful and happy life at the cathedral, joyfully performing her job of keeping the facility free of rodents and welcoming visitors with head-rubs and purrs.

Any time we allow our cats outdoors, we run the risk of disaster. I grew up in a rural area, and at the time it was just the done thing to let cats outdoors to wander as they will. More than one of those kitties met a tragic fate. And it seems that even a cat protected by angels and blessed by priests isn’t immune to the perils of street life.

Although the church doesn’t plan to replace Carmina, I hope that if they change their minds they’ll keep their next chief mouser and morale officer indoors.

Blessings and condolences to the Washington National Cathedral staff. As a tribute to Carmina, I give you an amazing performance of “O Fortuna,” the best-known segment of the Carmina Burana, directed by Andr Rieu.

(In a reader? Watch the video here.)

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