A uniquely beautiful feline tombstone marks the grave of Anna Clare Bootle, a young woman who passed away unexpectedly and is interred in London's historic Highgate Cemetery.

The Beautiful Cat Endures In London's Highgate Cemetery

Highgate Cemetery was established in 1839 and holds the mortal remains of approximately 170,000 people marked by about 53,000 graves. Among the more notable of its long-term residents are Karl Marx, Douglas Adams, George Michael, and Anna Clare Bootle.

Daughter of the late (2014) British folk singer and computer scientist Stan Kelly-Bootle, Anna Clare Bootle was a rising theater director, actress and dancer known for her love of wildlife art. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, Bootle passed away in her sleep from a brain hemorrhage at the age of 31. She was interred in Highgate Cemetery's East section in September of 1985; her grave is marked by an exquisite stone sculpture of a sleeping cat reclining on a tasseled pillow.     

The Beautiful Cat Endures In London's Highgate Cemetery

Below the formal inscription runs a curious and compelling cursive script: “The beautiful cat endures”. It's likely whomever commissioned the grave marker made reference to a carved inscription on a roughly 3,000-year-old commemorative stone unearthed at Thebes, Egypt, that translates to “The beautiful cat which endures and endures.”

It may be that in quoting the ancient Egyptians, known for their love of cats, the gravestone's artist (Bootle's sister, Carol Bailey) sought to invoke the timelessness of love itself. Or perhaps, the late Anna Clare Bootle simply liked cats and Bailey went with that when designing the marker. Either way, this memorable memorial marker appeals to lovers of cats and to those who appreciate beauty... and most often, they're one and the same. (images via Annette Ellis and Tony Worrall Photography)