Larry Joins David Cameron in Downing Street

A tabby cat named Larry sleeps in number 10 Downing ... Reuters

David Cameron has welcomed a cat to Downing Street in an effort to deal with No 10’s rat problem.

The four-year old tabby, called Larry, was at London’s Battersea Dogs and Cats Home before moving in to the UK Prime Minister’s home.

The arrival follows weeks of speculation about potential pest control measures after a large black rat was seen scuttling past No 10.

A Downing Street spokesman said the former stray was a “good ratter”.

Larry arrived via van shortly after 1300 GMT, and was carried into Number 10 in a covered cage.

According to Downing Street, the animal has “a high chase-drive and hunting instinct”, developed during his time on the streets.

DOWNING STREET CATS

  • 1920s – Rufus of England
  • 1930s and 1940s – Munich Mouser
  • 1970s – Wilberforce
  • 1989 to 1997 – Humphrey
  • 2007 – Sybil
  • 2011 – Larry

A spokesman said he had also shown “a very strong predatory drive” and enjoyed playing with toy mice.

In a statement Mr Cameron said: “I’m delighted to welcome Larry to his new home.

“He came highly recommended to me by Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, who did a fantastic job looking after him.

“I’m sure he will be a great addition to Downing Street and will charm our many visitors.”

And the PM’s official spokesman later reported Larry had slept through most of his first afternoon in Westminster, saying he “seems relaxed and easy going”.

But the animal appeared to bely his reputation as gentle when he scratched reporters from ITV News and Sky News who tried to hold him as part of their reports.

Larry arrives in Downing Street Larry arrived in a cat basket which was covered as he was carried past the waiting press pack

Given his exalted status among the nation’s pest controllers, Larry’s name is appropriately a shortened version of Lawrence, meaning “laurel-crowned”.

He is the latest in a long line of Downing Street cats, known unofficially as Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office.

His arrival follows several sightings of rats around Downing Street. The vermin are a common problem in London, where trash scattered on sidewalks provides a constant supply of food.

BBC News

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