Sybil    E ven though he may have a new owner soon, Larry the cat is definitely staying in Number 10.. document.write("?subject=Downing Street Cats\">"); [4] However, the story was later revealed to be a hoax, and no such owner nor campaign existed. 10, noted in his blog that Larry was 'for Downing Street'; in other words, his status would be that of an office cat rather than a family pet or an official civil service cat as his predecessors had been. Battersea Dogs and Cats Home helpfully pointed out that they had many rescued cats on their books, waiting to be rehomed, who would be admirable for the job. The budget bill for a 50% increase in the cat's pay was submitted to Parliament, debated, voted on and passed: and that is how Rufus came to be known thereafter as Treasury Bill. In 2014, Osborne brought in a pet dog, Lola. Fabled Felines Famous Felines index When he made a TV appearance with her, it was Wilberforce who received more fan mail! All rights reserved You may also like to read about Humphrey's American feline counterpart at the White House, Share; Tweet; Pin; On February 15, 2011 a short-haired tabby named Larry transformed from a stray into a star when the cat checked into Number 10 Downing Street. There were some reports that she'd returned to their Scottish home in Edinburgh, but as far as we can gather, although that was what the Darlings wanted for her, it did not happen. Direct linking (hotlinking) to ANY images on this site is strictly forbidden. The press joked that the Chancellor of the Exchequer might take over the Chief Mouser position.[12]. Larry was honoured with a blue plaque at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in October 2012. David Cameron explained during his final Prime Minister's Questions in 2016 that Larry is a civil servant and not personal property, so would not leave Downing Street after a change of premier. [35], Larry has been criticised for both his temperament and job performance. Apart, that is, from a slight slip when things became a little too overwhelming, and he scratched a reporter as he struggled free from her arms when she picked him up for a one-to-one 'interview'! Copyright © 2003-17 Purr 'n' Fur UK, Certain features on these pages use JavaScript, [ Long before they moved there, and when she was only a few months old, Freya had disappeared, and after searching for her and putting up posters to no avail, they assumed she had been irretrievably lost, or possibly run over. [8], He made his first known kill – a mouse – on 22 April 2011. Le 11 Downing Street (également connu en anglais sous le nom de Number 11) est l'adresse de la résidence officielle du second lord du Trésor du Royaume-Uni, titre qui à l'époque moderne coïncide avec celui de chancelier de l'Échiquier. After 10 catless years at the PM's residence, Humphrey had a successor when in early September 2007 a new resident of 10 Downing Street made her public debut. He has been spotted holding the fort, sitting proudly outside Downing Street. The Chief Whip, Gavin Williamson, said that the cat would be called Cromwell. var cry1=String.fromCharCode(109,97,105,108,116,111,58);document.write(""); The black-and-white rescue cat, who has more than 105,000 Twitter followers, arrived from Battersea in 2016. He remains the only cat ever to have been awarded the Dickin Medal for gallantry under enemy fire, Images and content (whether original or used at Purr 'n' Fur with permission) may NOT be reproduced As with Street Cat Bob, Larry took part in March 2013 in a scheme run by ZSL (London Zoo) to raise money to buy giant toys for the zoo's Sumatran tigers, Jae Jae and Melati, to play with in their new Tiger Territory, opened in the same month by the Duke of Edinburgh. A change in Britain's prime minister doesn't mean a change of residence for this feline. Larry the Downing Street cat has again reassured Britain that he is now running the country. Nemo    No. To go directly to the text for a particular cat, use the following links: Left-click thumbnails for enlargements (JavaScript should be enabled), for more stories of famous cats, Other sections: Larry also managed to get himself into Google Street View! "Number 10 cat Larry loses collar in 'most brutal fight yet' with Foreign Office's Palmerston", "Will Larry cope with Dilyn in Downing Street? A Conservative member of Parliament asked for proof that the cat was still alive (left), though, and so political journalists took up the case. Famous | Some lovely images came out of the photocall, two of which we reproduce here (left, and above right). He was described as a confident cat who liked being with people, and soon made himself at home in the FCO, with his first mouse catch reported within a couple of weeks. 10. 10 and 11, to sleep where he wished, and have the run of the enclosed gardens. Brief video clip at Getty Images, dating from Nov 1997: There's a book containing various pictures of Humphrey going about his duties: Apr 2011: British folk singer and guitarist Alan ('Big Al') Whittle composed a little ditty called. In June 2012, Osborne's wife received a call telling her that Freya was alive, and the family brought her home. Copied. Shortly after his arrival a story was circulated that his former owner had stepped forward after seeing his story in the media. Thatcher's chief press secretary, Bernard Ingham, said the cat caused him, as an asthmatic, some trouble when he came to work on Monday mornings as Wilberforce 'lounged on my desk over the weekend in between mouse-catching duties'. [14] As of January 2021, Larry has retained his position with the Boris Johnson administration. Fragments | [16], David Cameron has said that Larry is a "bit nervous" around men, speculating that, since Larry was a rescue cat, this may be due to negative experiences in his past. Sybil apparently responded in kind: at their own cost the Darlings had cards printed with her picture and a paw-print, which were sent out as replies. Later that year, it was revealed that Larry spent more time sleeping than hunting for mice, and shared the company of a female cat, Maisie. An 'official' blue plaque in the UK is a permanent sign installed in a public place as a historical marker to draw attention to a link between that location and some famous person or event, but there is nothing to stop organisations putting up their own plaques, as is the case here. Patrick Roberts We were all sorry to learn, today, of his death, and we shall all remember the Downing Street cat with great affection. This was far from the first time the feline had gone a-wandering; apparently it was quite usual for her to visit Westminster's 'Red Lion' pub in the evening, in spite of having to cross four lanes of busy traffic to get there, and she would be brought home by one of the barmaids. Some three months later The Times reported that he was probably dead and published an obituary picture — whereupon the medics realised that their 'stray', known as 'PC' ('Patrol Cat'), was actually Humphrey! [26] In November 2014, Freya left Downing Street, leaving Larry with the sole mousing responsibility.[27]. document.write(""); On behalf of the US Government he was also presented with a replica rat which seemed to meet with his approval! This occurred on at least two occasions during live reports by BBC and ITN correspondents, and several videos are available at YouTube and elsewhere: here's one, and of course the story was also covered in the press and extensively online. //END --> He was said to have dumped it unceremoniously at the feet of the secretaries, and after their initial shock they gave him a cheer, as it was the first mouse he was known to have caught. A change of prime minister in July 2016 could have seen a change in his status, but it was reported that he would be staying on and carrying on with his rodent patrols under Mrs May's jurisdiction. Fabled | Despite the seemingly effective attack, the pigeon managed to fly off apparently unharmed after the brief scuffle. ]. 10 — and his wife Sarah confirmed via a spokesman that they were happy to have Sybil around and she would be free to wander at will over the whole premises. In June 2012, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne was reunited with his long lost cat Freya, who moved into 11 Downing Street. Photo of Wilberforce above right courtesy of Dave Webster at Flickr where it can be seen full-sized. During June 2012 it was announced that Freya¸ a handsome tabby with superb whiskers, had been found after three years and was taking up residence again with George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and his family, who also currently live in Downing Street. So Larry was left to continue with mouse-catching duties and has become a permanent fixture at No. Home | Cherie Blair was said to dislike cats and to consider them unhygienic: even to be allergic to them. After the Supreme Court ruled Prime Minister Boris Johnson had acted illegally and lied to the Queen, Larry wanted to calm the nation’s fears. 10 to outlast Mrs T!). Battersea Dogs & Cats Home offered to negotiate a deal with Larry. 10 were said to be pressing for a new feline recruit, and a spokesman for David Cameron confirmed there was a 'pro-cat faction within the building'. I’m in charge now.” As he has moved from his favourite doorstep outside Number 10 to take up … Aides announced that Lola got on well with both Larry and Freya. [23][24], In June 2012, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne was reunited with his long lost cat Freya, who moved into 11 Downing Street. ', At the beginning of 2005 many government files were released to the public for the first time under the Freedom of Information Act, and these included some of the papers relating to Humphrey, made available by the Cabinet Office as one very large PDF document (may take some time to load in view of its size). Featuring Felines Freya and Larry were reported to have rapidly established cordial relations, although the two cats had been seen fighting. Nevertheless, bookmakers Ladbrokes made Cameron the odds-on (1/2) favourite to leave Downing Street first, with Larry as the 6/4 outsider. The Daily Telegraph suggested that Cameron never really liked cats but that spin doctors believed Larry could make the PM appear more friendly. document.write(""); 10 spokesman said Larry was 'chilled'. Nemo used to accompany the Wilsons when they took their annual holiday to the Scilly Isles, off the south-west coast of Cornwall. "Give him a kick from me," she said. Unfortunately Sybil's tenure was short-lived. It turned out she had been in a garden not far from the Osbornes' permanent home in Notting Hill, where she had been looked after and fed by a neighbour who had not seen the posters. Certain well-known cats, including Larry, were given tiger toys to play with, publicity shots were taken and then the toys and 'pawtographed' photos were auctioned on eBay. We very much like the addition of a robin to the painting of Humphrey, a nod to the incident detailed in our account above when he was accused of being a serial killer! [5], The Downing Street website describes Larry's duties as "greeting guests to the house, inspecting security defences, and testing antique furniture for napping quality". [33] During the fight, Larry lost his collar, whilst Palmerston suffered from several deep scratches and a badly cut ear. Back to:   On 25 May there was more excitement for Larry when he met Barack Obama during the American President and First Lady's state visit to Britain. Perhaps one day we'll be able to read about 'Humphrey: the Early Years'! [37] At one point in 2011, mice were so endemic in Downing Street that the Prime Minister, David Cameron, resorted to throwing a fork at one during a Cabinet dinner. However, by September there were rumours that tensions were growing between Prime Minister David Cameron and Larry, with a report that Cameron was fed up with his suit getting covered in cat hair and that the Camerons were said not to like the Downing Street cat very much, amid suggestions that the pet is just a public-relations prop. In April 2016, a new feline neighbour, Palmerston, moved into the Foreign Office. David Cameron revealed that Larry was 'a bit nervous' around most men, but had 'liked Obama'. In September 2012 it seems that Freya took over the official mousing duties and sidelined Larry, who had not exactly distinguished himself in the mouse-hunting business since his arrival at No. It seems she did not settle well in Downing Street, and so after about 6 months was taken to live with friends of Mr Darling's who lived in a quieter neighbourhood. It wasn't until one day in late April 2011 that Larry was observed climbing in through a Downing Street window with a mouse clamped in his jaws. Par métonymie, le 10 Downing Street sert parfois à désigner le Premier ministre ou son administration. (if this happens, use Refresh from your toolbar to reload the page). document.write(""); Sybil is Downing Street's first cat since Humphrey, who retired in 1997. Two of her kittens were rehomed together, but CHAT was determined that Evie would keep one of her kittens. Sybil was apparently named after Basil Fawlty's wife in the celebrated BBC television series, Fawlty Towers, but (unlike the probable reaction of her namesake) Sybil the cat seemed slightly unnerved by the press call. Perhaps less well known, but also 'employed' by the British government at the Home Office over a period Socks Clinton who died in 2009 aged almost 20 years. Hammond replied, 'He is definitely not a mole and I can categorically assure you that he has been regularly vetted. In 2011, Larry was banned from the Prime Minister's quarters in 10 Downing Street as his fur was ruining the Prime Minister's fresh suits. Because it's such a huge building, CHAT was initially concerned that they wouldn't be able to find their way around — but they needn't have worried. 10. ” He’s used to national attention and crashing press conferences — he photobombed Trump’s photo-op with Prime Minister Theresa May earlier the same day. One former Treasury cat was called Smokey, while a fine 'marmalade' tom rejoicing in the name of Rufus of England, later became better known as Treasury Bill; he served under Prime Minister Ramsay Macdonald from about 1924 and was a formidable mouser and ratter. They invited the Prime Minister to choose a suitable candidate, and suggested a three-year-old tuxedo cat by the name of Crocket could be ideal. Perhaps, like all other groups who have suffered from Labour's broken promises, he didn't get the loving attention he was promised in May from the new occupants of Number 10; When he became prime minister in 1964 Harold Wilson took the family cat — a male sealpoint Siamese called Nemo — with him to Downing Street. Larry is a cat who has served as Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office at 10 Downing Street since 2011. Former Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg has described an internal Downing Street security door which requires microphone contact for access as being increasingly "not for security, but to keep the cats out from one end of the building to another". He was, though, treated with great kindness, as Churchill was very fond of cats. 10 Downing Street: Take a rare glimpse inside the Prime Minister's home. The then Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, faced questions in the House of Commons as to whether Palmerston the cat was a spy, possibly a mole or 'sleeper' working for the European Union or a foreign power, and whether he had been checked by the security services. After eight happy years under the Conservatives, he could take only six months of Labour ... ; In 1995 the cat had his greatest adventure when he disappeared, and it was assumed that he'd died ('possibly from eating too many Civil Service biscuits', as one commentator wryly put it). All kinds of political humour was bandied about: And the prospects for the rats? As hostages are, he was photographed with the newspapers of the day to prove there was no trickery, and with his new pal, a goldfish. Humphrey clearly had a much loved and comfortable old age. During the afternoon there was coverage of Larry arriving in Downing Street and being taken inside No. He'd had a kidney complaint for some time, and his medical advisers felt it would be better for him to retire from his hectic environment and take life more easily in the suburbs. The prime minister therefore drafted in tabby Freya as the new Mouser of State to patrol Numbers 10, 11 and 12, although to avoid any hurt feelings the situation was described as a 'job share'. Anyway, by November the Osbornes had decided that her wanderings put her at too much risk and it would be better if she left Downing Street. Larry est un chat employé dans la chasse à la souris depuis le 15 février 2011 aux 10 et 11 Downing Street, les résidences du Premier ministre et du chancelier de l'Échiquier britanniques. 10 Downing Street has welcomed a new resident on Monday - but it's not a politician. For a full report on the reshuffle, see the Daily Mail. She died, we think in London, in July 2009 after a short illness, the nature of which we don't know. The tale went that her nephew 'Tim' had begun a Facebook page to campaign for Larry's return and several hundred people had already joined, some saying they had written to Downing Street in support. We wish Larry well, and a long and happy life as the latest in a distinguished line of feline residents in the corridors of power. He was about a year old and, following a ballot among staff, was named after Sir Humphrey Appleby in the very popular BBC television comedy show Yes, Minister, and given the official title of Mouser to the Cabinet Office; his food was paid for by the departmental budget. [33], In August 2016, it emerged the Cabinet Office were considering also appointing another Chief Mouser to deal with their mouse problem. Evie and Ossie are a mother and son, (now neutered, of course) who were rescued by CHAT as strays living on the streets of East London. [2] Larry was intended to be a pet for the children of David and Samantha Cameron, and was described by Downing Street sources as a "good ratter" and as having "a high chase-drive and hunting instinct". 10 in a pet carrier. He was said to bring his trophies to his boss, but when he found that they were being picked up and put by the rubbish bins in the hallway, he soon realised the proper procedure, and after that the cleaners would find the mice neatly laid out by the bins for them to deal with! [38] His lack of killer instinct also earned him the nickname "Lazy Larry" by the tabloid press. In November it was reported in the Observer that Sybil had received a large volume of mail from fans and also other cats, many enclosing photos and signing with their paw-prints. There was a new face in Downing Street today as Boris Johnson and his girlfriend Carrie Symonds moved their new puppy into Number 10.. A plan showing where the various Westminster pets are located, as of 2021... Was also presented with a blue plaque at Battersea Dogs and cats home who was chosen by Downing Street first. Attempts to catch a pigeon outside Number 10 copyright © Frances Broomfield, and No such nor... 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