Larry, the beloved 15-year-old cat, famously lives at 10 Downing Street, where he has seen four prime ministers come and go. The cat even has the title of Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office on the UK’s official government website.
“Larry has been in residence since 15 February 2011, he is the first cat at Number 10 to be bestowed with the official title Chief Mouser,” states the website.
We previously shared the history of Larry the Official Mouser, adopted by then-prime minister David Cameron from Battersea animal rescue in 2011. Cameron recruited the pretty cat to help control rodents around the building, and Larry relished his duties. Once, Cameron professed his love for Larry in the House of Commons, offering a photo of Larry on his lap.
“The rumour that somehow I don’t love Larry? I do! And I have a photographic evidence to prove it,” Cameron said at his final address in 2016. “Sadly I can’t take Larry with me. He belongs to the house and staff love him very much; As do I.”
Guards open the door for this cat when he comes and goes. Sometimes, he refuses to go inside, and the guard will carry him.
Larry, Chief Mouser, Also Takes On Foxes
Recently, Larry has been back in the UK headlines for two reasons.
- He gave the new prime minister the “cold shoulder.“
- Larry chased down a fox outside 10 Downing Street.
Larry has made international news both times.
Showdown With a Fox
Amusingly, Larry, the senior cat, was having none of it when he spotted a very scrawny-looking red fox on the street outside the residence.
This time, Larry stalked the fox and then made a daring attack, sending the animal running. The fox must have been quite surprised at this cat’s boldness.
Then, the sly fox returned. However, the cat was undeterred, preparing to launch another attack. As Larry stalked the fox, it lowered its ears and slinked away.
From the looks of it, the fox may have been in a state of weakened health, which the cat instinctively knew and thus, didn’t back down.
On Twitter, Larry the Cat initially said “Fox off” in reaction to the fox. But then, he had second thoughts, saying, “OK, I’m feeling guilty about chasing off foxy,” sharing advice from the RSPCA about caring for foxes.
Video by USA TODAY:
Larry’s Other Altercations
The Guardian notes that feisty Larry has “developed a territorial streak” regarding intruders near his turf over the years.
Since the press is often outside, they have caught Larry on camera showing his hunting skills. Once, he tried to catch a pigeon as shocked reporters reacted. Other kerfuffles involve Palmerston, the Foreign Office cat. When Boris Johnson became Foreign Secretary, he brought Palmerston to the office across the street. Even since then, there have been famous fights and standoffs between the cats.
Yes I had to see the vet because I had an injured paw, but you should see the state of the other guy…https://t.co/fd3Qpjwmlr
— Larry the Cat (@Number10cat) July 21, 2016
When pawlitics was particularly tense, the tension between Larry and Palmerston seemed to ramp up too!
Video via Guardian News: