January 25, 2010

Katherine of Tarragon Announces Retirement

Ernest Hemingway once said, "What greater gift than the love of a cat?"

Anyone who ever entered the Cathedral's greenhouse and library has experienced such love. A memorable, American Short-hair named Katherine of Tarragon has graced the lives of visitors and staff on the close for over 15 years, and at this time, announces her retirement. 

Ms. Tarragon was only a kitten when she began her work as an entry-level mouse catcher in the Cathedral Greenhouse 15 years ago. It is there, where she spent most of her career until the closing of the Greenhouse in 2008. During which time, Ms. Tarragon inspired a retail product line at the Cathedral's Museum Shop where Katherine cards can be found. She spent the remainder of her professional career in the Cathedral Library, helping CCS and Cathedral records staff with daily office activities such as chasing strings across the floor, sleeping on the outgoing mail, and basking on the warm floor in front of the copy machine. Ms. Tarragon spent most mornings outside the front door of the library greeting everyone from staff and bike messengers, to visiting dignitaries.

As her primary care taker, Tom Wright describes, "Katherine is a robust 15.5 years old." She has developed some non-threatening, age-related health issues, and following the advice of her primary feline care provider has decided to retire. Ms. Tarragon will live out her days in a posh townhome in Georgetown, with daily and loving attention - and a new feline friend!

Katherine is, and will continue to be, a part of many lives. She is a reminder that even amidst the most trying of times, we can all find a common thread in the happiness - of that which occurs in nature - can bring.


  1. Will they adopt a new cat?

  2. I can't speak for the Cathedral, but as of now, the Cathedral Choral Society will not be adopting a new pet.

  3. Would it be possible for Katherine to visit the Cathedral at some point in the spring (Flower Mart?), so that those of us (and our children) who know and love her could give her a cuddle and thank her for her ministry?

    The Rev. Olivia Hilton

  4. Dear Olivia,

    Katherine is actually owned by the Cathedral, so I would encourage you to contact Cathedral Administration to arrange a visit of Ms. Tarragon!

    Thank you for reading our blog!

  5. Could you also please post the lovely photo of Katharine perched on the organ (sold as a card in your shop)?
    A fan in Germany

  6. I wish they would sell a cute plush of Katherine of Tarragon!


Thank you for reading - we appreciate your input!