During this time he often seats himself on the front row, or even leads the coffin down the aisle. He’s also been known to sit beside people in the burial grounds offering comfort and affection to those around.
Carole Paton, funeral arranger for the Co-op at Mayfields, said: “Paddy is such a special cat. He genuinely seems to have a sixth sense for when a funeral is about to take place, and will turn up just before to pay his respects. If the family then ask for him to stay, we allow him to attend.
“Every funeral we do at the Co-op is unique, but Paddy really does provide that extra special touch, helping provide comfort, affection and even entertainment for families at one of the most difficult times in their lives.”
She added: “His timing is impeccable. During one funeral service he made an appearance outside the window, just as the eulogy got to the part about the individual’s love of cats.
“And once when arranging a funeral with a client for her partner, it turned out the client had always wanted a ginger cat, but her partner had never agreed. Then in strolled Paddy, lightening the mood as if he was a sign from the beyond.”
The news comes as research from the Co-op shows that pets and animals are increasingly playing a role in modern funerals, with three fifths (57%) of funeral directors having had requests for pets to be present at funerals. And a fifth (21%) have even had requests for a pet themed funeral.