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Cattiness in Downing Street

Larry, in a rare moment of wakefulness.                                                        (Photo: AFP/Ben Stansall)

There was a pretty minor, relatively boring, cabinet shuffle at No. 10 today.

When this happens, the political correspondents from all the news networks have to stand outside the famous front door waiting for various people in suits to troop in to find out they've been fired/they've been promoted. (Delete as applicable.)

Norman Smith, who is the excellent chief political correspondent for the BBC, was on duty this morning, and as he stood waiting for the news to trickle out of the heart of British government, he spotted Larry.

Larry is not some minor minister: He is the Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office. (Really.) Obviously, he is a cat. He was adopted from the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home to help out Downing Street with their mouse problem.

But I think it is fair to say that Larry is not known for his commitment to rodent eradication. And it seems a cat can't snatch a nap around here without getting his picture snapped.

But fear not:

Cue all sorts of amusing jokes about how Larry's slumber reflects the country's interest in reshuffles and questions as to whether he's getting a new role. While cute, this may not be a good time for Larry to be snoozing on the job.

Last week, it was suggested that the Camerons "don't like" Larry and that he's just a PR prop. Gasp! But then the Prime Minister went on Sky News and disabused the nation of this notion.

"I'm very keen on Larry," David Cameron said. "I think this story came from when I was once rude about Larry's mousing abilities. It is true that he once sat on a chair in my study at Number Ten and this mouse ran across the floor and Larry just lifted his head and had a look at it and did absolutely nothing."

But still, "he's a much-loved cat and my family adore him."

Just don't ask him about cabinet shuffles. Or mice.

Jennifer Quinn is a foreign affairs and investigative reporter at the Star. As a journalist with the Associated Press, based in London, she wrote extensively about British politics. Follow her on Twitter @JQStar.


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Tom Cats don't make good mousers!!! Especially fat and over fed ones!!!!


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