Benedict XVI: A look back at the cat-loving pope’s favorite feline friends

Benedict XVI: A look back at the cat-loving pope’s favorite feline friends


Chico was a purple tabby cat who belonged to the Ratzinger’s neighbors in Pentling, Bavaria, immortalized in the illustrated reserve, “Joseph and Chico: The Life of Pope Benedict XVI as Explained to By a Cat.” 

“Chico was a major reddish cat with a lot of character,” Perego, the writer of the children’s e-book, explained to CNA. She reported that she was inspired to produce the e book whilst studying Benedict’s early life in Bavaria and conference Chico, whom the worldwide push were being presently referring to as “his cat.”

In the ebook, Chico the cat narrates the life of Joseph Ratzinger from his childhood in Germany to his election as the 265th Roman pontiff. Archbishop Georg Gänswein, the pope’s particular secretary, wrote in the book’s introduction: “The pope also enjoys cats and all animals since they are creatures of God.”

Chico, who was currently entirely developed at the time of Benedict’s election as pope, died in the fall of 2012, according to Perego.


Throughout Benedict XVI’s apostolic excursion to the United Kingdom in 2010, he frequented the Birmingham Oratory proven by St. John Henry Newman. 

At the oratory, the pope encountered an unanticipated buddy — a fluffy black cat named Pushkin. The oratory cat wore a ribbon with the papal colors, yellow and white, about his neck for the situation. 

Journalists snapped pictures as Pope Benedict stroked the cat’s chin and ears. He mentioned: “Aren’t you pretty? What’s his title? How old is he?”

Pushkin, who was 10 many years outdated at the time, went on to dwell a further eight several years and even penned his own memoir, “Pushkin the Pontifical Puss: Tails of an Oratory Cat,” which also particulars the time he achieved Princess Michael of Kent.

Contessina and Zorro

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Just after Benedict XVI retired to Mater Ecclesiae Monastery inside the partitions of Vatican Town Point out, he ongoing to greet some of the cats who lived in the Vatican gardens. Two of the Vaticats in certain designed an effect.

“Contessa and Zorro, two cats that stay in our gardens, arrive generally to say howdy to the pope emeritus,” Gänswein informed the Italian magazine BenEssere on March 25, 2016.

At a time when the pope emeritus was largely hidden absent from the globe, a photograph of Benedict keeping the little grey and white cat named Zorro caught the world’s notice.

Contessa, also recognised by the diminutive, Contessina, was a black and white kitten who was also photographed together with the pope during his decades of retirement residing in just Vatican City’s partitions.

As Catholics remember Benedict XVI ahead of his funeral this 7 days, some have located ways to honor the late pope, as very well as his adore of cats.