|Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office|
15 February 2011
Serving with Freya
|Prime Minister||David Cameron|
|Born||c. January 2007 (age 6)
Larry is the 10 Downing Street cat popularly known as the Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office and is a brown and white tabby, believed to have been born c. January 2007. He is one of 100,000 cats employed by the British government to keep down mice.
First year in Downing Street 
Larry is a rescue cat from the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and was chosen by Downing Street staff. Media speculation had raised the possibility of a new feline arriving in Downing Street after rats had been seen on two occasions behind television news correspondents reporting live, with a Downing Street "pro-cat faction" having apparently won the argument. The cat is also intended to be a pet for the children of David and Samantha Cameron. He immediately courted controversy as whilst being asked to pose for a news item Larry lashed out at ITV News reporter Lucy Manning.
He has been described by Downing Street sources as a "good ratter" and as having "a high chase-drive and hunting instinct". Soon after he was taken in at Downing Street, a story ran in the press claiming that Larry was a lost cat and that the original owner had started a campaign to retrieve him. However, the story was later revealed to be a hoax, and no such owner nor campaign existed. David Cameron has said that Larry is a "bit nervous" around men, speculating that, since Larry was a rescue cat, this may be due to negative experiences in his past. Cameron mentioned U.S. President Barack Obama is an apparent exception to this fear saying, "Funnily enough he liked Obama. Obama gave him a stroke and he was all right with Obama." Unlike his predecessors since 1929, Larry's upkeep is not funded by tax payers but paid for by the staff of 10 Downing Street. Fund raising events to pay for his food are believed to have included a quiz night for Downing Street staff held in the state rooms. Larry's exploits and observations on life at Number 10 have now become the subject of a weekly cartoon in The Sunday Express drawn by cartoonist Ted Harrison.
In late February 2011, it was reported that anonymous sources were briefing against Larry saying "there is a distinct lack of killer instinct." However, a senior Downing Street spokesman said that it was too early to make judgements and that Larry hadn't even been taken to visit his main work area in case he ran away. He finally made his first kill – a mouse – on 22 April 2011. On 9 September 2011, Larry was spotted swiping at a mouse, known as "Mandy", who then escaped under a bush. On 14 November 2011, Larry's position came under pressure, as it emerged that he was spending more time sleeping, and spending time in the company of a female cat, Maisie, than actually hunting for mice. The cat's position was said to be "unassailable", even though it emerged that the Prime Minister had resorted to throwing a piece of cutlery at a mouse during a cabinet dinner, in an ineffectual attempt to kill it. The Prime Minister's spokesman rejected calls for Larry's resignation, stating that "Larry brings a lot of pleasure to a lot of people". On 16 November 2011, Larry courted further controversy by sleeping for several hours as the entire cabinet traipsed in and out of Downing Street for a meeting. Larry's aides initially prevented photographers from taking pictures to prevent Larry further embarrassment, but later relented. On 27 November 2011 it was reported that Larry had been banned from the Prime Minister's quarters in 10 Downing Street as his fur was ruining the Prime Minister's fresh suits.
Second year in Downing Street 
On 15 February 2012, a party was held in Larry's honour to celebrate his first year in the office of Chief Mouser. His press officer defended Larry's arguably poor performance in his first year by reminding the public that as well as being Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office, "Larry spends his days greeting guests to the house, inspecting security defences, and testing antique furniture for napping quality". Larry was also credited that "He has captured the hearts of the Great British public and the press teams often camped outside the front door. In turn the nation sends him gifts and treats daily". At the same time the press officer continued that "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'". Also, coinciding with his first anniversary, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home revealed that Larry's popularity had resulted in a surge of 15% more people adopting cats.
On 24 April 2012, Larry returned to the news for his antics while waiting to be admitted to 10 Downing Street, and during the summer was featured in the newspapers on more than one occasion, with photographs showing him sleeping. Larry threw himself wholeheartedly into the celebrations of the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II, taking a particular interest in the bunting decorating 10 Downing Street in June. On 24 June, George Osborne was reunited with his long lost cat Freya, who moved into 11 Downing Street. Freya and Larry are reported to have rapidly established cordial relations.
On 28 August 2012, to wide acclaim, Larry made his first killing of a mouse in public, dumping the corpse on the lawn in front of Number 10 to garner maximum publicity. In the September 2012 cabinet reshuffle, it was reported that Larry had retained his position as Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office. However, the reprieve seemed short-lived as Larry was reported to have been sacked and replaced by Freya, but despite this on 26 September Larry took shelter in the door of 10 Downing Street from the autumnal storms.
The confrontation with Freya over the prestigious chief mouser position came to a head in October as the two cats had a violent fight that had to be broken up by the police. Freya was reported to be the more dominant cat and more effective mouser, reportedly because her days as a stray had "hardened" her. However, Larry's spokeswoman insisted that the two tabbies were able to "co-exist". Larry got into the Christmas spirit on 5 December while he was sitting next to the Dementia Friends bauble and later playing with it. On 21 December Larry continued his festive celebrations by wearing a Santa hat.
Third year in Downing Street 
On February 15, 2013, Larry's birthday was celebrated. It was also announced that Larry is supporting ZSL London Zoo's campaign to support Sumatran tiger conservation, and was pictured with a tiger cat toy along with a birthday card from ZSL London Zoo. A week later, a cat-proof barrier was erected to prevent Larry and his neighbour Freya from getting into the Foreign Office, however public pressure forced William Hague to order that the barrier be demolished.
Awards and recognition 
Popular culture 
Larry quickly entered the nation's popular culture, spawning websites, and multiple Twitter feeds. Larry also released his own tell-all book entitled the "Larry Diaries: Downing Street – the First 100 Days", and endorsed a book by Smokey, the world's loudest purring cat. A picture gallery to celebrate Larry's first two years in office was produced by the Daily Telegraph.
- Molly Oldfield & John Mitchinson (11 june 2012). "QI: Quite interesting facts about cats". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
- Glen Oglaza "The Cat's Whiskers", Sky News, 15 February 2011.
- "Larry the No 10 cat drafted in as official rat catcher of Downing Street", Daily Mail (website), 15 February 2011.
- McConnell, Mary (28 December 2011). "The one who hasn't got the cream: Larry the Downing Street cat barred from Cameron's new apartment". Daily Mail (London).
- "Larry the cat to join David Cameron in Downing Street". BBC News. 15 February 2011. Retrieved 15 February 2011.
- Nissim, Mayer (23 February 2011). "David Cameron 'stole cat for Number 10'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
- "But that’s my auntisurrey universitye's cat: Man's claim on 'stray' No 10 ratcatcher (… and there’s a Facebook campaign to get him back)". Daily Mail (London). 23 February 2011. Retrieved 23 February 2011.[dead link]
- Lewis, Paul (23 February 2011). "Churnalism or news? How PRs have taken over the media". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 23 February 2011.
- "Number 10 cat Larry catches three mice". BBC News. 20 June 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2011.
- Prince, Rosa (15 February 2011). "Larry the cat is installed as Downing Street Chief Mouser". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- Maev Kennedy (7 September 2011). "Larry the cat fundraiser quiz night to be held at No 10". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- Rosa Prince (28 February 2011). "Downing Street defends Larry the cat from anonymous briefing". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 February 2011.
- Stratton, Allegra (24 April 2011). "Politics,UK news". The Guardian (London).
- "Downing Street cat Larry caught napping". BBC News. 15 November 2011.
- "Downing Street cat Larry backed despite No 10 mice". BBC News. 14 November 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
- Enoch, Nick. "Let me in or I'll get the boss to fire you! Larry the Downing Street cat can't wait for the door to open so he can escape the cold". Daily Mail (London).
- Sims, Paul. "After 'Chillax' Dave, now Larry the Downing Street cat does a spot of relaxing as he takes a break from mouse-catching duties". Daily Mail (London).
- Garland, Ian; Roberts, Hannah. Daily Mail (London) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2165113/Surely-bad-Number-10-Larry-cat-lies-Downing-Street-traffic.html
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- Wilkes, David. "A jubilant nation shrugs off the showers as the cling film's torn off the cucumber sandwiches at 10,000 street parties". Daily Mail (London).
- Walters, Simon. "Chancellor George Osborne reunited with fat cat Freya who disappeared three years ago". Daily Mail (London).
- Bond, Anthony. "Freya the cat prowls Downing Street for the first time... and there's no sign of a scrap with the Prime Minister's pet Larry". Daily Mail (London).
- Parkinson, Justin (16 October 2012). "Downing Street denies Cameron and Osborne cat feud". BBC. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
- "In pictures: David Cameron's cat - Larry, Chief Mouser of Downing Street". Daily Telegraph. 3 November 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
Title last held bySybil
|Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office