Brits, rest easy: after a three-year hiatus, you have a new Chief Mouser at 10 Downing Street.
It’s not widely appreciated that, since 1924, the resident cat at the Prime Minister’s house has held the unofficial title of Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office. According to Wikipedia, there have been eleven of these kittehs since “Treasury Bill” took up the post under Ramsay MacDonald. Other Chief Mousers have included Munich Mouser, Nelson, Peta, Wilberforce, Sybil, and the famous Humphrey, who served under Thatcher, Major, and Blair, and famously went missing for a while.
Between 2008 and now there was no Chief Mouser, but, as Wikipedia reports:
In January 2011, rats were seen in Downing Street, “scurrying across the steps of number 10 Downing Street for the second time during a TV news report”, according to ITN. There being no incumbent Chief Mouser at that time, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said that there were “no plans” for a cat to be brought in to tackle the problem; however the following day newspapers reported that the spokesman had said there was a “pro-cat faction” within Downing Street, leading to speculation that a replacement may indeed be brought in to deal with the problem. On 14 February 2011, it was reported that a cat called “Larry” had been brought in to address the problem. The Evening Standard reported that the cat had been selected by David Cameron and his family, from those at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.
Good on Cameron to select a stray for the job!
Here’s Larry arriving at Downing Street on Monday:
Larry inspects his new quarters:
You can see more photos of Larry here.
h/t: Michael F.
UPDATE: Coincidentally, I just received this stuffed kitteh from an alert and generous reader. The cat’s name is Bentley, and he greatly resembles Larry: