Why to watch out for mummified cats during a renovation (yes, really)

A renovator in a red top holds up a mummified cat found during works to a property
A mummified cat found by renovators of a property in Yorkshire (Image credit: Ross Parry/ SWNS)

What nobody tells you when taking on a renovation project, is what might be lurking inside your walls and ceilings. And the shrivelled up corpse of a centuries-old mummified cat is top of that rather frightful list.

We're not talking about cats that met an unfortunate end after becoming stuck; these cats were hidden within the walls of properties throughout the UK, completely intentionally. Our rather horrifying ancestors thought grabbing a cat off the street, and stuffing it into a purposefully-built cat hole and bricking it up, was some kind of twisted good luck charm.

Amy Willis
Web Editor

Amy spent over a decade in London editing and writing for The Daily Telegraph, MailOnline, and Metro.co.uk before moving to East Anglia where she began renovating a period property in rural Suffolk. During this time she also did some TV work at ITV Anglia and CBS as well as freelancing for Yahoo, AOL, ESPN and The Mirror. When the pandemic hit she switched to full-time building work on her renovation and spent nearly two years focusing solely on that. She's taken a hands-on DIY approach to the project, knocking down walls, restoring oak beams and laying slabs with the help of family members to save costs. She has largely focused on using natural materials, such as limestone, oak and sisal carpet, to put character back into the property that was largely removed during the eighties. The project has extended into the garden too, with the cottage's exterior completely re-landscaped with a digger and a new driveway added. She has dealt with de-listing a property as well as handling land disputes and conveyancing administration.