July 14, 2024

Twelve Years of Government Service: Larry Beats Prime Ministers

Twelve Years of Government Service: Larry Beats Prime Ministers

Rishi Sunak is the official Lord of the House of Downing Street. But the current president is just another British prime minister sharing the house behind the famous black door with the secret ruler. This week, it has been exactly twelve years since Larry the cat has resided at Government House. Chief Mouser, the “Chief Mouse-catcher of the United Kingdom”, has been in office longer than any prime minister since the late nineteenth century.

Recently, Larry also left Margaret Thatcher, who ruled for 11 and a half years. The animal has become a constant for many people in Great Britain, especially in the politically turbulent times of late. The Boris Johnson scandal years, Liz Truss’ 49 days and now Sunak – the country has seen three prime ministers in the space of a few months. Theresa May is another former Prime Minister in the House of Commons, and it has only been six-and-a-half years since her predecessor, David Cameron, left Downing Street. But one remains: Larry.

It was Cameron who brought the cat from an animal shelter to his official residence. The goal: to curb the rat epidemic. British media reports have learned that Larry left behind four dissidents on his way to Downing Street. It was a worker named David who privately took Larry with him. The cat was chosen “because he was calm and didn’t care if he was picked on or not, unlike other needy cats who meow and want attention.”

At that time, the animal was praised for its hunting instinct. Cameron told the BBC a few months after Larry took over that he had already caught three mice. But suspicions soon arose about the “mouse president”: when a mouse ran into the room at a cabinet meeting, there were calls for his resignation. Cameron refused – and Larry, who had originally intended to be the partner of the Prime Minister’s daughters, was allowed to stay after the Prime Minister left. He is now the undisputed boss of London’s most famous street: Larry won the power struggle with his velvet rival from the Foreign Office – Palmerston retired in 2020. He has now changed his area of ​​responsibility slightly, as the government has explained on its official website.

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“Larry spends his days welcoming guests to the house, checking security devices and testing antique furniture to make sure we sleep well,” she says. And what about mice? Well, Larry thinks of a solution – but he’s still “in the tactical planning stage.” He is already 15 years old. More than 800,000 people follow the satirical account on Twitter, which mostly satirically comments on political events in the name of the cat.

Larry is fine

Recently, however, as concerns spread about Larry’s health, he was said to be suffering from cysts. The government immediately denied it. “Larry was at the vet last month for a routine check-up,” the Sun said. “He’s staying in Downing Street feeling good about cats.” Sonak must be hoping in the room too.

Because a good relationship with Larry is important to the public image. Cameron, for example, once explicitly posted a photo showing the cat on his lap. Larry’s watchers soon learned that Liz Truss’ tenure would not last long: when she tried to fondle Larry in public on the doorstep, the cat gave her the cold shoulder.

How old are the cats?

Cats live an average of 15 years. Life expectancy depends, among other things, on diet, environment and care. Genetic diseases are the reason that hybrid cat breeds die much earlier than hybrid cats. With proper treatment, chronically ill cats can live to a similar lifespan as their healthy counterparts.

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