An occasional blog by Esther, the Precentor’s Cat
I see all sorts of things as I sit curled up in my favourite spot on the window sill of the Hungerford Chantry on Chorister’s Green. Ever since I moved here with my two humans in 2012, I have been amazed at how many things seem to happen in the Close. There are people coming and going all the time. It really is a very busy place. I see groups of children with their teachers. I see lots of people arrive, and then go into the Cathedral for a while, and then come back out again. Two weeks ago there was obviously something very special happening in the Cathedral because on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night there were hundreds and hundreds of people walking about in the dark, going towards the cathedral just at the time when it is normally getting quiet in the Close and I can curl up and sleep without worrying that I will miss something important. I could tell that something special was happening because one of my humans, the Precentor, was even more twitchy than he normally is, and he kept on wandering about the house practicing his singing over and over again. That got quite boring after a while. Anyway, all these people went into the Cathedral, and then, you’ll never guess what, someone turned all the lights inside and outside the cathedral off. The whole Close went pitch dark! It was so strange. I pushed my face up against the window but I couldn’t see what was happening, and no one would let me out into the Close to go and have a look. I thought that as time went on perhaps I could see flickery candlelight through the windows of the cathedral, and I could definitely hear singing towards the end, and it all looked and sounded very magical. About an hour later all the people came out again, smiling and happy and talking about something called “Darkness to Light.” Then the Precentor came home again, and he was much happier and more relaxed than he had been two hours earlier, and he gave me some biscuits as a treat.
This week some very strange things have been happening as well. On Monday I saw some people doing something which seemed very odd to me. They brought two big bushy green trees into the Close on a lorry. One of them disappeared into the Cathedral on Monday, and I don’t know what happened to that one, because I can’t see into the North Porch from my window. Then yesterday the same men took the second tree and stuck it in the ground just near the place where cars drive into the Close. You’ll never guess what they did then. They decorated it with twinkly white lights. I thought they were mad when I watched them, but then last night when it got dark, it was so beautiful! I sat and stared at it for hours, until my humans called me downstairs for my supper. Tuna fish – my favourite!
Something really special is about to happen in the Close. I can feel it. Everyone is so excited and more and more people are arriving all the time. I keep hearing my humans talking about things like Cribs and donkeys and something called “the Midnight” which is obviously something they are thinking about a lot. I can’t wait to see what happens next. Until then I think I’ll curl up again on my windowsill and just keep watching. Goodnight!
Esther, the Precentor’s Cat