Cathedral eulogy to social media star cat

Image copyright Book Guild
Image caption Garfield visited the store in Ely almost daily since it opened in 2012

A cathedral service has heard tributes paid to a cat that achieved social media fame by hanging out at his local supermarket.

Garfield died in the car park of his beloved Sainsbury’s store in Ely, Cambridgeshire, in July.

He was remembered at the city’s cathedral, which each year holds a service in celebration of animals.

Dogs, cats, a donkey, ferrets, guinea pigs and even birds were in the cathedral.

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Garfield was well-known at the supermarket where he spent most days lolling on a sofa in the lobby and being petted by customers.

Image copyright Ely Cathedral
Image caption In the past all sorts of well-behaved animals have come along to the services
Image copyright Keith heppell
Image caption Around 450 pet owners and animal lovers attended the service

He amassed a fan-base of more than 7,000 people from across the globe, who followed his adventures on Facebook.

However, he was hit by a car in the store’s car park and died in July, aged 12.

Around 450 pet owners and animal lovers attended the service.

Canon James Garrard and Canon Jessica Martin, joined by her rescue dog Gonzo, celebrated the lives of animals in the community and blessed them.

Author Cate Caruth, who wrote a book about Garfield, told the congregation: “He was a pet for all those who could have no pet of their own.”

Ms Caruth said “the whole of Ely mourned” when he died.

Image copyright Tali Iserles
Image caption Garfield had become something of a celebrity in Sainsbury’s, Ely

“Garfield touched thousands of lives around the world,” she said.

She said the eulogy was not just for Garfield, but for anyone who had lost a pet.

“In remembering Garfield, we remember all those pets,” she said.

“As the fictional Garfy might say, ‘I’m not really gone. I’m just off on another adventure’.”

After Garfield’s death, his owners set up a charity page which so far has raised almost £2,000 for the local branch of Cats Protection.

Image copyright Keith Heppell
Image caption Canon Jessica Martin, here with her rescue dog Gonzo, led the service
Image copyright John Sutton/Geograph
Image caption The cathedral has been holding services for animals for 30 years

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