One of the grounds keepers at the church said his death has ‘left a difference’ in the local community, as individuals pay tribute to the cat
After he died of old age a cat who rambled a graveyard to comfort mourners for 20 years has been laid to rest.
Barney the ginger spent walking the property of a church burial site, consoling those seeing the graves of their loved one.
But on Friday, the 20-year old moggy died of old age.
This has caused an outpouring of grief from the local community as people paid tribute to the much-beloved cat.
Grounds keeper Alan Curzon said he’s now been laid to rest at the area where he spent his whole life brightening up the lives of hundreds during their darkest moments.
The popular moggy originally lived with his owners next door to the St Sampson’s Graveyard in Guernsey.
But after they moved away he kept returning to his previous land and was eventually re-homed there.
Alan, 63, the cemetery sexton who has helped look after Barney since 1996, said everyone was devastated.
“For those who entered the cemetery with a heavy heart, he lightened up the experience for them. He often came up to them and brushed against them when people walked through the gates.
“There wasn’t a bad bone in his body.
“We’re placing a plaque on the wall and a seat and have discovered a little space for him in the cemetery where he is buried also.
“The spot will not be the same without him and his passing has made a gap. I’ve already seen a lot of people in tears and we are really upset, but he had a good life and was well looked after.”
He included: “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 house there and he stayed.
“We’d look after him and he’d provide lots of relaxation to lots of folks.
If he heard a car coming he would make himself known and was friendly.
“He didn’t have to worry about a think, but I must stress it wasn’t only me looking after him. There were a lot of people that took him to their hearts.”
The Rector of St Sampson’s Church Rev Timothy Dack said he carried out a lot of funerals at the graveyard and said Barney consistently offered a comforting presence.
He said: “I believe the existence of Barney brought lots of comfort to so many individuals.
He would be seen by the mourners and it’d bring them lots of happiness.
“I just think he gave them great comfort. I know he was well cared for by a number of individuals.”
Barney’s support has been described by many visitors to the graveyard as invaluable and tributes have been flooding in for him on social media.
Writing on Facebook Debbie Ann Le Page said: “God bless you Barney, recall that wonderful sunny day, I laid down on the grass in the cemetery and we cuddled up together for two hours.
“I wanted a buddy that day and there you were my angel!! God bless you.”
Sue Falla, whose daughter is buried at the graveyard, said: “I always believed my youthful daughter was never alone when he was there. Actually going to miss you, Barney, TEAR.”
Autumn LeLievre described Barney as “amazing.”
She included: “He brought so much comfort to my kids notably on our routine visits to the graveyard.
Kelly Ogier also wrote on Facebook: “All our family adored you so very much and we’ll always be so grateful of the comfort you gave us at what can be a tough area.
“You brought sunshine to us all and we’ll adore you eternally xxxx.”
Pauline Goddard wrote: “My kids adored going to see him when seeing their Gramps grave – a lovely cat that will be missed by many and now keeping our lost loved ones business .”
Karen Wilson added: “Such sad news.
RIP Barney now you’ll be keeping our loved ones safe on the other side.”
The decision to entomb Barney at his house cemetery was also backed by members of the public.
“He should have his very own small grave there as this was his chosen spot while alive.
Mandy Hardman included: “He goes there.”