A cathedral cat has become a viral sensation after brazenly disrupting a recording of morning prayers.
Oblivious to the sincere proceedings being conducted, Leo was caught on camera wandering into view before disappearing beneath the Dean of Canterbury’s robes.
Somehow keeping a straight face, the Very Revd Dr Robert Willis managed to avoid a feline fiasco and continued with his sermon.
But the footage has proved a hit online, racking up almost 100,000 views between Twitter and Facebook after it was uploaded over the weekend.
It has become one of Canterbury Cathedral’s most popular social media posts ever.
But while Leo is “undoubtedly the comedian” of the Deanery’s four cats, he nonetheless takes his role as an ambassador “very seriously”, a cathedral spokesman said.
They told the PA news agency: “He has been enjoying making our daily broadcasts since March and, whilst he would be happy to be in every one, we have tried to include the others to prevent them getting jealous.
“With over 20,000 visitors to the Deanery and its gardens each year – and over 1.5 million to the cathedral – he is used to being on show and, having been born in the Deanery and growing up here, he is very used to company and is a very friendly and happy little cat (if not the brightest of the four).
“He loves to socialise with the cathedral’s many pilgrims and visitors and takes his role as ambassador very seriously.
“In calmer times he finds a cosy place in the house or sunny spot in the gardens to sleep.”
Even without Leo’s impromptu appearances, the Kent cathedral’s online services have proved extremely popular during lockdown to provide comfort and solace in difficult times.
The Dean’s daily prayers regularly top 2,000 views each, while the cathedral’s Easter Day Eucharist – which featured recordings by the Prince of Wales and the Archbishop of Canterbury – was viewed more than 11,000 times.