Chief mouser Larry the cat celebrates 10 years in Downing Street

Larry is the first feline since 1997 to hold the rat-catching portfolio.

Chief mouser Larry the cat celebrates 10 years in Downing Street

Britain’s chief mouser is celebrating 10 years prowling the corridors of political power at Number 10 Downing Street.

This Monday marks 10 years since Larry the cat left Battersea rescue centre for a new home with the Prime Minister.

He was the first cat to hold the rat-catching portfolio since stalwart ratter Humphrey was retired in 1997.

“Throughout his time at Number 10, Larry has proven himself to not only be a brilliant ambassador for Battersea but also demonstrated to millions of people around the world how incredible rescue cats are.

“His rags to riches tale is yet more proof of why all animals deserve a second chance — one minute they may be an overlooked stray on the streets, the next they could become one of the nation’s beloved political figures, with fans around the world.”

Coronavirus – Mon Aug 24, 2020
Larry the cat on the pavement in Downing Street (Victoria Jones/PA)

Despite rumours he disliked the feline, Mr Cameron, in his final speech to Parliament, confirmed the pair were friends and said: “Sadly, I cannot take Larry with me — he belongs to the house and the staff love him very much, as do I.”

Larry stayed on to offer his support to Theresa May and was notably caught live on camera being forcibly removed from his sunbathing spot and escorted away by security to ensure he would not upstage her outgoing announcement.

The 14-year-old now works under Boris Johnson and in December 2020 was seen adding to the Brexit drama by getting caught in a scuffle with a pigeon.

He has met a number of world leaders, including President Barack Obama who visited in 2011. Although Larry is normally unfriendly towards men, he did not appear to mind Mr Obama.

When the next US president Donald Trump visited in 2019, Larry was seen creating a potential security threat by taking his afternoon nap under Mr Trump’s car.

Coronavirus – Wed Jan 6, 2021
Larry the cat waits outside Number 10 Downing Street (Ian West/PA)

However, Larry was less popular with feline rival Palmerston, who lived at the Foreign Office until he retired in August 2020.

A Number 10 spokesperson said it was “proud” to support Battersea: “A much-beloved member of the No 10 team, Larry plays a vital role as Chief Mouser and in delighting staff and the public alike with his playful antics.”

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