web analytics

The shame

Larry the Number 10 cat has been put on a diet. Visitors have been slipping him too many treats. He is fourteen, an age when gentlemen cats may incline to podge, and has been in office for a decade.

His official title is Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office, which started as a joke title used by journalists but was made official for Larry in 2011. He is a civil servant. He once had a scrap with Palmerston, the Chief Mouser of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, during which Larry lost his collar and Palmerston got a ripped ear. The latter has since retired to the country.

You’d probably need an FOIA to find out how many British government departments have an official cat.

Larry’s predecessor was Freya (whose tenure overlapped Larry’s) and before her Sybil (named after Sybil Fawlty).

Then ensued a ten year gap when Downing Street was catless on account of that evil hag Cherie Blair doing away with Humphrey.

Before Humphrey came Wilberforce (for whom Margaret Thatcher once bought “a tin of sardines in a Moscow supermarket”), Peta (a Manx cat whose real name was Manninagh KateDhu), Peter III and Peter II.

Nelson has no Wikipedia page, but he was the Chief Mouser of WWII and Churchill’s own cat whose tenure overlapped his predecessor Munich Mouser, whose tenure overlapped Peter I (they were deadly rivals). Churchill nicknamed the Munich Mouser after the Munich Agreement between Chamberlain and Hitler. What Chamberlain called him is not recorded.

And finally, Rufus of England (AKA “Treasury Bill”) who also doesn’t have a Wikipedia entry, but is the earliest Downing Street Cat on record (served 1924 to 1930). He had an allowance of a penny a day.

Budgetary records, anyway. There are reports of cats in government back to Henry VIII, when Lord Chancellor Cardinal Wolsey brought his cat to work with him.

The Downing Street Cat gets lots of press here because journalists are stuck outside #10 for long, boring stretches of time and hey look, a cat.

You can follow Larry on Twitter.


Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: March 10, 2021, 8:50 pm

The US of A has a presidential dog that bites people and was banished to Delaware for it.
Not sure how I feel about that.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 10, 2021, 9:01 pm

Poor dog. It’s a big ask to take him from his home to a huge new property full of an ever-changing cast of strangers. For something like an untrained German shepherd, this was probably inevitable. Some little floofy ankle-biter, maybe.

But I’m not a dog person, so what do I know?

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: March 10, 2021, 11:12 pm

Granting that this was Biden’s dog [in theory, I had not heard of him having a dog before], I kinda think that his presence may have been a PR idea to make Biden more acceptable.

Subotai Bahadur

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: March 10, 2021, 11:40 pm

Less unacceptable?

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: March 10, 2021, 11:45 pm

What the U.S. House of Reprehensitives lacks in cats it makes up for with a few hundred leeches and tapeworms, all named “Demo”.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: March 11, 2021, 2:52 am

Long time dog owners, we don’t tolerate dogs that nip/bite in anger or aggression, but that looks like a pup still, and they play rough at that stage.

Then again I think the yahoo in the White House is full of crap all around, so I doubt any dog story they choose to tell, and that includes being ‘dog people’ of any sort. Do you recall any dog stories out of bozo Joe over his long tenure in office, or as VP? Nope.

And Uncle Al, what makes you hate leeches and tapeworms so much you’d compare them to Congresscritters?

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: March 12, 2021, 3:33 am

Biden also claimed to have fallen in an attempt to pull his dog’s tail, so…

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: March 12, 2021, 12:47 pm

Whut, as opposed to being beat up by his stretch rubber gym equipment like Harry (“it worked didn’t it?”) Reid?

Write a comment

(as if I cared)

(yeah. I'm going to write)

(oooo! you have a website?)

Beware: more than one link in a comment is apt to earn you a trip to the spam filter, where you will remain -- cold, frightened and alone -- until I remember to clean the trap. But, hey, without Akismet, we'd be up to our asses in...well, ass porn, mostly.

<< carry me back to ol' virginny