Larry the Cat has been the official chief mouser at the UK’s prime minister’s home since 2011.
Now he should be bestowed with a new title — chief foxer.
The famous tabby was
lounging guarding No. 10 Downing Street on a recent evening when a fox approached the property. Larry slow-walked the canid intruder back to an adjacent garden, but wasn’t satisfied when the fox lingered, so he laid the smacketh down to show foxy who was boss.
The thick-headed vulpine interloper tried a third time to get closer to the house, but Larry wasn’t having it.
The encounter was a reminder that Larry can handle business when sufficiently motivated.
Larry is a former stray rescued by London’s Battersea Dogs and Cats and was four years old when he got the job on the strength of the shelter’s claim that he was an excellent hunter who would solve No. 10’s rodent problem. Bringing in a capable kitty became a priority in 2011 when the rats on site became so bold, they’d walk right past reporters and TV cameras outside the prime minister’s official residence and office.
The long-tenured mouser got a bad rep in his early days, when critics complained he “does little besides sleep” and spend time with his “lady friend,” Maisie, while also depositing hair on Prime Minister David Cameron’s suits.
But it’s Larry who’s had the last laugh as his tenure has outlast those of three prime ministers — Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson. He’s now on his fourth PM, Liz Truss.
According to his official profile on the UK government’s website, “Larry spends his days greeting guests to the house, inspecting security defences and testing antique furniture for napping quality. His day-to-day responsibilities also include contemplating a solution to the mouse occupancy of the house. Larry says this is still ‘in tactical planning stage.'”