It has an official title and has been wearing it for 10 years. Larry the Cat, Great Britain’s “Chief Mouse Catcher”, is celebrating his anniversary with the company.
The “Chief Mouser”, the “Supreme Mouser”, has long been considered Prime Minister of Hearts in London. Larry celebrates his service anniversary this Monday – on February 15, 2011, the animal walked into his official residence for the first time: 10, Downing Street. Larry came from the Battersea Animal Shelter in London. “I think no one could have imagined then how incredible his life would develop,” said animal shelter Lindsey Quinlan now on the anniversary.
With Larry, there was an official hangover in Downing Street for the first time after a break of 14 years. “Larry spends his days greeting guests in the house, checking safety precautions and testing antique furniture for its quality as a place for a nap,” says the government’s website. “One of his daily tasks is to find a solution to the mouse problem in the house. Larry says this is still in the planning phase. “
The US President traditionally has one dog – incumbent Joe Biden even two – but the British Prime Minister’s house tigers are the animal of choice. Probably also because the residence is a little more cramped than the White House with its garden. Before Larry, now 14, Humphrey served from 1989 to 1997. One exception was during Prime Minister Tony Blair’s time (1997-2007) – wife Cherie Blair reportedly doesn’t like cats.
Cameron couldn’t take Larry with him
Official government documents only go back to the 1920s, but it is certain that King Henry VIII kept a cat a good 500 years ago. Larry, however, is the first animal to officially hold the title of “Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office”, so it is almost logical that he also has an – unofficial – Twitter account. Since the cat is considered a civil servant, he remains on Downing Street even after a term ends. “Unfortunately I can’t take Larry with me,” said then Prime Minister David Cameron when he had to leave the seat of government in 2016. “He belongs in this house and the staff love him very much, just like me.”
The resa May and now Boris Johnson, he dominates the hallways of 10 Downing Street. In front of the building, the hangover serves as a change and a popular photo opportunity for waiting journalists. He often steals the show from his official boss. In December 2020, for example, he fought a highly regarded fight with a pigeon.
From rags to riches
“Larry is a popular member of the Number 10 team and plays an important role as” Chief Mouser, “said a government spokesman. “He inspires employees and the public in equal measure with his playful antics.” But if it becomes too much for Larry, the famous gate with the number 10 opens as if by magic and he scurries in.
Larry’s career “from dishwasher to millionaire” has proven why animals deserve a second chance, said animal shelter Quinlan. “One moment you’re an overlooked stray, the next you become one of the nation’s most popular characters with fans around the world.”