|Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office|
16 September 2012 – 9 November 2014
Serving with Larry
|Prime Minister||David Cameron|
|Born||c. April 2009 (age 7)
London, United Kingdom
|Owned by||George Osborne|
|"Violent cat fight in Downing Street", Freya (right) vs. Larry|
Freya went missing from the Osbornes' house in Notting Hill when she was just a few months old and after searching West London for her, the family assumed she had died or had become lost. In June 2012, Osborne's wife received a call telling her that Freya was alive and the family brought her home. In September 2012, it was reported that Freya had replaced Larry as Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office although a Daily Mail reporter stated that they would share the position. In November 2014, Freya was retired from the position to the Kent countryside.
Freya is a tabby cat owned by former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, his wife and their two children. In 2009, when Freya was a few months old, she went missing from the Osbornes' house in Notting Hill. The family searched west London for her and put up posters, but they did not find her. The family eventually gave up hope, assuming she had been lost or died.
In early June 2012, Frances Osborne received a call telling her Freya was alive and living in a garden near her family's former Notting Hill house. She had been fed and looked after by a neighbour. After bringing Freya to their home above 10 Downing Street, the Osbornes introduced her to the Cameron family's cat, Larry. A Treasury spokesman stated "She is settling in nicely and getting on well with family, staff and Larry." Freya was then allowed outside to explore her surroundings.
On 16 September 2012, Nigel Nelson from The People reported the Prime Minister David Cameron had sacked Larry from his position as Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office and installed Freya instead. Nelson revealed that Cameron had become fed up with Larry's laziness. It took him six months to make his first kill and a Daily Mail reporter commented that it appeared he had not made any since.
Cameron decided to replace Larry when he refused to move from his chair to chase a mouse on 13 September. Nelson explained "The final straw came on Thursday when Mr Cameron caught Larry cat-napping on his chair in his No.10 study as another mouse scurried across the room. When he tried to wake Larry to do his duty one eye opened but the moggy wouldn't budge."
Cameron drafted in Freya to patrol Numbers 10, 11 and 12 Downing Street, as she is a "tougher" and a "more street-wise predator." Freya was reported to be the more dominant cat over Larry and a more effective mouser, reportedly because her days as a stray had "hardened" her. The Daily Mail reporter wrote that Freya and Larry would "job share" to spare any hurt feelings.
Freya has become one of 100,000 cats employed by the Government to keep down mice. On 16 October 2012, police had to break up a fight between Larry and Freya outside Number 10. Rosa Prince from The Daily Telegraph reported that Freya "appeared to have the best of the confrontation". The Prime Minister's spokeswoman stated that Freya and Larry were able to "co-exist" and added that she would not comment further on the two cats' adventures.
In May 2014, Freya strayed over a mile from Downing Street, and had to be rescued and returned by a charity worker. In August 2014, Freya was hit by a car in Whitehall, and was subsequently treated by a vet. George Osborne said he was "very grateful" to those who came to the aid of his pet. Following these events, Freya was sent to the Kent Countryside to allow her to exercise her desire to roam.
- Walters, Simon (24 June 2012). "Chancellor George Osborne reunited with fat cat Freya who disappeared three years ago". Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
- Nelson, Nigel (16 September 2012). "Larry the Downing St cat shunted by PM for being a useless mouse catcher". The People. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
- "Larry the Downing Street cat is sacked as Number 10's chief mouse catcher after chillaxing too much on the job". Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers. 16 September 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
- Parkinson, Justin (16 October 2012). "Downing Street denies Cameron and Osborne cat feud". BBC. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
- Oldfield, Molly; Mitchinson, John (11 June 2012). "QI: Quite interesting facts about cats". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
- Rosa Prince (16 October 2012). "Police called to break up violent cat fight in Downing Street". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
- Parkinson, Justin (16 October 2012). "Downing Street denies Cameron and Osborne cat feud". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
- "George Osborne's cat rescued by homelessness worker". BBC News. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- "Chancellor George Osborne's cat Freya hit by car". BBC News. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- "George Osborne's family cat Freya sent away from Downing Street to Kent". The Independent. Retrieved 22 April 2016.