Sybil (cat)

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Sybil the cat.jpg
Sybil, in her employment as the
Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office
Species Cat
Sex Female
Born 2006
London, England
Died 27 July 2009 (aged 3)
Nation from British
Occupation Mouser
Employer Queen Elizabeth II
Title Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office
Term 2007–2009
Predecessor Humphrey
Successor Larry
Owner Alistair Darling
Named after Sybil Fawlty

Sybil (2006 – 27 July 2009) was a cat living at 11 and 10 Downing Street. Named after Sybil Fawlty from the TV show Fawlty Towers, she was the pet of former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling.[1]

Confirmation of Sybil's tenure as Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office was given on 11 September 2007 by Gordon Brown's official spokesman, who stated, "I understand the Darlings do have a cat, and the cat has recently been brought to Downing Street... The Prime Minister and Sarah do not have a problem with it. I am sure the cat will appear at some point".[1][2]

Sybil, who was black and white, was the first cat at Downing Street since Humphrey was reportedly removed in 1997 due to Cherie Blair's aversion to cats.[3][4]

Sybil failed to settle in Downing Street and there were rumours that Gordon Brown disliked her. She returned to Edinburgh in early 2009,[5] and died there[6] in July 2009 after a short illness.[7]


  1. ^ a b Assinder, Nick (11 September 2007). "No 10 gets new feline first lady". BBC News. Retrieved 13 September 2007. 
  2. ^ "Watch out, Brown: there's a new cat in town" (Press release). Agence France-Presse. 12 September 2007. Retrieved 28 July 2009. 
  3. ^ "Trappings of family life threaten Humphrey's patch". Daily Telegraph (London). 6 May 1997. Archived from the original on 27 May 2002. Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
  4. ^ Prince, Rosa (12 September 2007). "Downing Street gets new cat". The Daily Mirror. Retrieved 13 September 2007. 
  5. ^ "A Country Life for the No. 10 Cat". The Daily Mail. 30 January 2009. Retrieved 30 October 2011. 
  6. ^ McSmith, Andy (29 July 2009). "Farewell to the original New Labour cat". The Independent. Retrieved 30 October 2011. 
  7. ^ Crichton, Torcuil (29 July 2009). "Darling’s cat Sybil dies after a short illness". The Herald. Retrieved 30 October 2011. 
Title last held by
Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office
2007 – 2008
Title next held by