Carmina the Cathedral Cat: RIP

Carmina-Cathedral-Cat-Window

The story of Carmina the Cathedral Cat, the resident cat at Washington’s National Cathedral, captured my readers’ hearts when I first wrote about her in November of 2010. I thought her story should be shared with a wider audience, so I pitched it to Cat Fancy magazine a while back. Last week, my editor approved the story for the June issue of the magazine.

I got in touch with the media contact at the Cathedral to get updated information on Carmina. I didn’t expect the following e-mail:

We are saddened to tell you that the Cathedral Choral Society’s beautiful kitty, Carmina Chanté Schumann, was fatally struck by a car on Woodley Road on Tuesday evening, November 1, 2011. Witnesses reported that she was frightened by a dog and ran into the street.

Carmina has entertained everyone in the Cathedral Library since June 2010, when she was adopted from an animal shelter. She received special attention at the Cathedral’s Blessing of the Animals service that October. Although her principal caretakers were the Cathedral Choral Society staff, she had a great many friends around the close who will miss her. She is listed on our personnel roster as Morale Officer and she attended staff meetings regularly. Her most recent activities included gamboling behind the chain-link fence and bringing us presents she had captured along South Road. It is unlikely that her position will be filled.

When I wrote my original piece about Carmina, learning that she was allowed outside made me uneasy. While the cathedral grounds are massive, the cathedral is located along a busy city street. Even cathedral cats aren’t safe from the many threats of the great outdoors, especially not in a city environment.

Rest in piece, Carmina. To quote the Religion News Service, “may mice perpetual shine upon you.”

Photo by Washington National Cathedral, Craig W. Stapert, photographer, used with permission.

21 Comments on Carmina the Cathedral Cat: RIP

  1. Melody
    January 21, 2012 at 10:27 pm (8 years ago)

    How heartbreaking. A peaceful rest to you, Carmina.

    Reply
  2. Ronnie
    January 20, 2012 at 2:12 pm (8 years ago)

    I am surprised that Carmina was allowed outside, and especially in the heart of Washington, DC! Washington is rough and rogue. With so many people around her, loving her, one would think the majority would know “outside” is a shorter life for a cat. Not only hit by a car, but attack by animals, human abuse, disease… One horror is gangs picking up kitties for “fun,” i.e. torture. And “stray” cats are sought for bait, dog fighting. R.I.P. Carmina Chante Schumann ~ For sure your spirit remains in the Cathedral. Those in touch with the knowing, will be able to feel her presence, and more. Sweet Carmina.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm (8 years ago)

      “Those in touch with the knowing, will be able to feel her presence, and more.” What a lovely way to put it, Ronnie!

      Reply
  3. Esme
    January 20, 2012 at 10:54 am (8 years ago)

    Such sad news. Poor Carmina, the worst of it is that she was frightened and fleeing when she was hit. Rest in peace little darling.

    Reply
  4. Mary
    January 20, 2012 at 8:53 am (8 years ago)

    This makes me so sad. And even sadder to see that “her position will not be filled.”

    I can’t imagine the cathedral won’t feel huge and empty and lonely without Carmina now, and that those who spend time there won’t notice the void. I’d love to think that eventually they will adopt another rescue cat, but that this time they will understand it’s best to keep her indoors. We can hope. Thanks for sharing this.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 20, 2012 at 2:33 pm (8 years ago)

      At first I was sad when I read that there won’t be another cathedral cat, but given what happened, perhaps it’s for the best.

      Reply
  5. ann dziemianowicz
    January 19, 2012 at 9:58 pm (8 years ago)

    Oh Ingrid, how sad. I can’t believe she was allowed out into the city streets! But how nice she will be remembered in both your beautiful blog posts.

    xo

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 20, 2012 at 2:33 pm (8 years ago)

      Thanks, Ann – it is very sad.

      Reply
  6. Ryker's Boyz 'n' Allie
    January 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm (8 years ago)

    Hearing she was allowed out would have made us uneasy, too. We’re so very sorry for their loss, and fervently hope that if the Office of Morale Officer is eventually filled, they will consider keeping the new “employee” indoors….

    Reply
  7. Layla Morgan Wilde (Cat Wisdom101)
    January 19, 2012 at 11:04 am (8 years ago)

    What a sad and strange convergence of events. Busy streets and cats are never a good mix. Congrats on your second article in Cat Fancy!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 19, 2012 at 11:10 am (8 years ago)

      I won’t be writing about her for Cat Fancy – the editors and I agreed that that would not be a good fit for the section it was intended for. Look for my article about another famous cat instead 🙂

      Reply
      • Ryker's Boyz 'n' Allie
        January 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm (8 years ago)

        FaRADaY: *raises paw to apply for position*

        Maxwell: FARADAY! *embarrassed look*

        Reply
  8. caren gittleman
    January 19, 2012 at 9:56 am (8 years ago)

    this brought tears to my eyes, the poor sweet baby…what a beautiful name “Carmina”….thank you for sharing her with us.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 19, 2012 at 1:22 pm (8 years ago)

      I still cry a little every time I think about her, Caren.

      Reply
  9. Azar Attura
    January 19, 2012 at 9:58 am (8 years ago)

    Oh Lord– Cat left to roam outside = Death or Abuse. WHY WHY WHY was she allowed to be outside? I am sorry to hear about her tragic unnecessry death.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 19, 2012 at 1:22 pm (8 years ago)

      I agree, Azar – tragic, and unneccessary.

      Reply
  10. Gracey, The Tiniest Tiger
    January 19, 2012 at 7:51 am (8 years ago)

    I am so sorry to hear this. Rest in peace Carmina, knowing that you are loved. Thank you for sharing her story Ingrid.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 19, 2012 at 1:21 pm (8 years ago)

      She was definitely loved in her short life on earth, Gracey.

      Reply
  11. Max the Quilt Cat
    January 19, 2012 at 5:21 am (8 years ago)

    Awwwww…. so sorry to hear about Carmina…. Outside is just not a good place for a kitty… especially in a busy city.

    pawhugs, Max

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 19, 2012 at 1:21 pm (8 years ago)

      I agree, Max – indoor cats live much safer and longer lives.

      Reply

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  1. O Misfortuna: Cathedral Cat Chased Over the Rainbow Bridge says:

    […] Yesterday, Ingrid once again reported on Carmina, but this time the update wasn’t so happy. […]

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