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Larry the cat moved into his new home yesterday, completely oblivious to the fact that he is living at Britain's most famous address.

Larry is the latest in a long line of cats, going back decades, which have lived at the Prime Minister's residence for the purpose of getting rid of unwanted rodents (and I don't mean the politcians). As part of one of those eccentric British traditions Larry, like those before him, has the title of Chief Mouser to the Cabinet. He is the first cat to have the job since then Chancellor Alistair Darling's cat Sybil in 2007 and 2008, who was the first in ten years.

He was selected from cats at the famous Battersea Cats' and Dogs' Home to be the new mouser after rats were seen scurrying along the doorstep of No10 during a couple of news reports.

ITV News's Lucy Manning was making a report earlier this year when a mouse was seen scurrying along the doorstep of No10 behind her and, yesterday, she was there to meet Larry - with horrible consequences!

After attempting to pick him up in the Thatcher Room, Larry scratched Lucy four times before leaping to the floor and making a run for it.

Maybe he was fed up after a day of filming and photo opportunities during his first day in his new home.

Four-year-old Larry was described as having a ‘very strong predatory drive’ and therefore the perfect candidate for his new job.

Larry, who will have free reign of No10 and also No11, the home of the Chancellor, spent hours yesterday exploring his new home. He was photographed walking down the No10 staircase, which is lined with photos of previous Prime Ministers

Last night correspondents purporting to be Larry – and the rats – were busy sending Twitter updates.

DowningStCat tweeted: ‘Having a poke around Dave’s office. Nice deep carpet and wooden furniture.’

No10Rat responded: ‘Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough. Rat-a-touille won’t be on yr menu tonight.’


Don't mess with me! Downing Street ratcatcher takes over Cabinet after seeing off ITV reporter

By Paul Harris and Daily Mail Reporter
17th February 2011
Dailly Mail

He was brought in to catch rats – but Larry the cat seems to have set his targets a little higher.

Downing Street’s new tabby made it his mission to see off a television news team yesterday when they tried to get him to pose for an item.

The cat lashed out at ITV News reporter Lucy Manning , scratching her four times before leaping to the floor and making a run for it.

Clearly not in the mood for any further attention, he then hid under a table – ignoring repeated calls to emerge.


The Mews at 10: Larry, the Prime Minister's new cat from Battersea, takes a swipe at ITV's Lucy Manning as she records a piece in the Thatcher Room

The shy moggie was perhaps fed up after a day of filming and photo opportunities during his first day in his new home.

Four-year-old Larry, described as having a ‘very strong predatory drive’, was chosen to patrol the Prime Minister’s home after reports of a rodent problem.

The reporter later posted on Twitter: ‘Never work with animals they say... just been into No 10 to film Larry the cat in the Thatcher Room. Got four big scratches.’


Larry the Downing Street cat walks across the Cabinet room table where the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition ministers hold their discussions


Exploring: Larry from Battersea gets familiar with his new surroundings on his second day living inside No 10

Earlier in the day Mr Cameron's new official ratcatcher explored the room where nine Prime Ministers have discussed the political crises of the day, including Harold Macmillan, who introduced the first official Downing Street feline.

Oblivious to the history, Larry from Battersea wandered around familiarising himself with his new surroundings.

He also visited the press office and jumped up attempting to open doors inside No. 10 as he spent the day exploring.


Wounded: Ms Manning was left with four scratches down her arm after Larry dug his claws in


Making himself at home: Cat peers out the window into the courtyard from inside the No 10 press office

She wrote: 'Never work with animals they say..just been into No 10 to film Larry the cat in the Thatcher Room. Got 4 big scratches.'

Earlier, the news of Larry's arrival had reached the rodent community just after midday.

In the sewers beneath Westminster, along the rat-runs that criss-cross the Number 10 lawn, and in every dark corner of the corridors of power, it set tiny hearts a-beating.

Downing Street had a new cat. Not just any cat, either.

This was the one they called the rat-catcher. And from the moment Larry the white-and-tabby tom crossed the threshold yesterday, it was probably a bad day to be vermin.


Larry negotiates the stairs of Number 10 past pictures of the previous Prime Ministers

Not since the fearsome Humphrey patrolled Whitehall had so much scampering been provoked among Rattus norvegicus and his increasingly marauding comrades.

See how the cat’s eyes are set close together, like a hunter’s. Tremble at the sight of those pin-sharp claws padding over the Axminster as he prowls his new terrain.

Take cover as he licks his lips at the prospect of a seek-and-destroy mission on the personal orders of the Prime Minister.

Yet a question mark hung over the appointment of the former stray yesterday as he was formally installed as government ratter-in-chief. Did his time on the street give him the political mettle to be a killer? Or is he just a homely moggy looking for a comfy life at the nation’s most famous address?

The signs were not encouraging. First on Larry’s list of things to do, apparently, was to curl up and take a snooze. Photographers and a TV crew poised to record his historic appointment for the nation were told they’d have to wait 45 minutes while he got some zeds in.





Rat catcher: Larry was brought in to get the Downing Street rat which appeared in Lucy Manning's report

Nothing is known about Larry’s past, save that he is aged about four and was rescued early in January after apparently living rough. He was taken to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, neutered, and nursed back to fine fettle by its rehoming team.

When Downing Street asked for a suitably friendly cat to deal with rats scurrying about in the buildings and on live TV broadcasts, the home volunteered Larry. In fairness, he had shown signs of a hunter instinct but his proficiency in the rat-catching department was untested. The nearest he came was to show an interest in some toy mice. Larry, it seemed was more Grayson than Hagman.



Strictly speaking, a coalition government should have two cats, each with a different coat. One could catch rats, the other could just play along and smooch up to important guests. Then again, the pair would probably only fight.

Larry arrived in the passenger seat of a blue van from Battersea and was carried into his new home in a basket shielded by a blanket. Set free, he hid under a table.

A beaming David Cameron declared he was ‘delighted’ to have a cat around the house, adding: ‘I’m sure he will be a great addition to Downing Street and will charm our many visitors.’ (That’s Larry he was talking about, by the way, not Nick Clegg).

But will Larry be up to the job?

Battersea staff described him as lively, confident and sociable, with ‘a strong predatory drive’. Kirsty Walker, head of cats, added: ‘I can definitely see Larry holding his own.’

Last night correspondents purporting to be Larry – and the rats – were busy sending Twitter updates.

DowningStCat tweeted: ‘Having a poke around Dave’s office. Nice deep carpet and wooden furniture.’

No10Rat responded: ‘Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough. Rat-a-touille won’t be on yr menu tonight.’

dailymail.co.uk