Elspeth Lodge February 18, 2011 – 1:50 pm
Larry, 10 Downing Street’s new cat, appears to be settling in to his new digs.
While he was brought in to catch mice, Larry has already taken on some bigger prey: reporters, says the Daily Mail.
“The cat lashed out at ITV News reporter Lucy Manning ,” say reports, “scratching her four times before leaping to the floor and making a run for it.” Ms. Manning later tweeted about the experience saying “Never work with animals they say… just been into No 10 to film Larry the cat in the Thatcher Room. Got four big scratches.”
Meet Larry, 10 Downing Street’s new cat
The latest addition to British Prime Minister David Cameron’s security retinue at No. 10 Downing Street? A short-haired, 4-year-old tabby named Larry.
Rescued from the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home to battle mice at the PM’s residence, Larry is said to have “a very strong predatory drive.”
“Before coming to Battersea, Larry was a stray so he was used to fending for himself in the streets,” said a spokesman for the PM.”Nothing is ever guaranteed, but his behaviour at Battersea convinced staff that he’ll be up for the job of ratting.”
According to The Guardian, the decision to adopt a cat was made after TV cameras recorded a rodent running past the prime minister at least twice last month.
Below, some of the noble felines who paved the way for Larry, protecting many prime ministers from rodents as professional mousers:
Rufus of England: a.k.a. Treasury Bill, under Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald, circa 1924.
The Munich Mouser: under Neville Chamberlain and Winston Churchill until 1943.
Humphrey: a long-haired black and white stray, defended No. 10 from rodents starting in October 1989. In Tony Blair’s early years, his wife Cherie claimed she was allergic to Humphrey, and the cat was sent into retirement in South London.
Sybil: The black-and-white female started her tenure at No. 10 on September 11, 2007.
With files from AFP