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Cathedral dean who went viral thanks to mischievous cats to retire

by Sophie Drew
Dr Robert Willis and cat.png - Banner image

The Dean of Canterbury - who shot to fame after his cats continued to interrupt his livestreamed sermons - has announced he will soon retire. 

Very Rev Dr Robert Willis was filming a morning prayer outside when Tiger the cat interrupted the proceedings, tucking away at a jug of milk on the table and distracting viewers. 

The clip went viral, with thousands of people enjoying Tiger's mischievous antics.

Things went from bad to worse when Tiger was joined by Leo - another rambunctious feline with a flair for comedic timing. Between them, they managed to tuck into a plate of pancakes during a Shrove Tuesday prayer, and hide beneath Dr Willis' robes whilst he attempted to maintain composure. 

After two decades in his post, Dr Willis was nonplussed by the interruptions. However, he has now announced that his time as Dean of Canterbury will soon be coming to an end. 

The 75-year-old has already served for half a decade longer than most clergymen in his position, after being granted special permission to continue his role by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

He has made the decision to step down on the eve of his 75th birthday, 21 years after first taking up the position. 

He had intended to extend his tenure until the Lambeth Conference this summer, but decision-makers decided this was legally impossible. 

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