1898 Heart breaking end to the colourful life of a prison cat.

Here’s a story that every cat-lover, and non-cat lover will relate too. Jerry the Victorian cat that saw more criminals in a month than an old country policeman would have seen in a career, showed both his cold, and warm sides to the many crooks and juvenile delinquents that crossed his path. But during a colourful life his heart belonged to only one person – a loss that would prove just too much for this hardy feline.


There is woe and lamentation at Bow-Street Police Court. “Jerry,” the cat so long attached to the court, is dead. Jerry was well known [to] the police, and in the course of a month came into contact with more criminals than a country policeman does in 20 years.

Image from page 46 of “Kittens and cats; a book of tales” (1911)

He had been stroked by murderers, fondled by burglars, and kissed by pickpockets. “Jerry” treated all the prisoners with a patronising air, but appeared to have a special fondness for boys brought up for the purpose of being sent to a truant school. The corridor between the long row of cells was Jerry’s happy hunting ground. He seemed to know the prisoners brought up week after week on remand, as they sometimes are, and as they put their heads out of the cell doors he wagged his tail and gave them kindly greeting.

1880 Print of Bow-Street Police Station

There was one individual of whom it might be said he was this object of “Jerry’s” most enduring affection- White, the gaoler. The cat had affection for many, but the gaoler he certainly loved. White left a few weeks ago, and “Jerry” mourned him ever afterwards. He was fed on milk and dainty food, but he refused to be comforted, and died yesterday afternoon.

South Wales Echo – Friday 07 January 1898


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