Belfast Telegraph

New life for cat Tom after death of Bishop Daly

A cat belonging to the late Bishop Edward Daly has been given a new home.

Tom, a 16-year-old ginger feline, had been left into the Rainbow Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Londonderry after being left homeless by the Bishop's death last August.

Bishop Daly, who served as the Bishop of Derry from 1974 to 1993, passed away at the age of 82 after a lifetime of service to the Catholic Church.

Now, Tom is embarking on a new life, after being given a loving home by Coleraine man Dave Graham.

Dave (48), who has worked in the past for the Belfast branch of the charity, Cats Protection, said he had visited the Rainbow facility looking for a kitten, as one of his own cats had passed away over the Christmas period.

He spotted the handsome ginger tom cat, and asked the shelter how he had come to them.

"They just told me that his owner had died, and that there was no one to look after him, so he'd been brought into the shelter," Dave told the Belfast Telegraph.

"I asked who his owner had been and I was stunned to be told Tom had been Bishop Edward Daly's cat, and he'd been Bishop Daly's companion since the turn of the century."

Dave explained how Tom came to be looked after by Bishop Daly.

"The story was that Bishop Daly hadn't been well back in 1999," he revealed.

"The Bishop went for a scan and had been expecting bad news. But as he was on his way home from the scan to await the result, this cat appeared, and sat on his lap.

"'You must be a good luck charm' the Bishop thought.

"And then when Bishop Daly got word about the scan, all was clear, and the Bishop lived another 17 years, to the age of 82.

"And he always thought Tom was his little good luck charm."

Dave - who already had seven cats at home - told the rehoming charity that he would have to think first about whether or not he could adopt Tom.

But his mind was soon made up. "When I got home, I said that night to my partner, Glynis, 'I can't sleep! I'm going to have to bring his guy home. Bishop Daly's going to be looking down, saying 'Here! Who's looking after Thomas? Sort this out'!"

Tom arrived at his new Coleraine home on Friday and is now settling in well.

His basket has a good view of Dave's garden, giving him a vantage point from which to enjoy the wildlife.

"He likes watching the birds coming to the bird feeders," added Dave.

by david young

Belfast Telegraph

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