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Larry the cat takes up residence at London's famous 10 Downing Street

February 16, 2011 |  4:22 pm


Larry the cat -- a rescue from a London shelter, we're pleased to point out -- has joined the staff at 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the British prime minister, in response to concerns about the rodent population there. Prime Minister David Cameron's office is now home to the tabby-and-white domestic shorthair, who was adopted from the U.K.'s well-known Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.

A rat scurrying around Number 10 was caught on video by the BBC last month, and speculation quickly began swirling that the prime minister would get a cat to take care of any rodent problems. Apparently Cameron's children were hot on the idea, so after some weeks of hesitation, Larry finally arrived at Downing Street this week.

Prior to striking it rich, Larry was a stray found wandering the streets of London. He's believed to be about 3 to 5 years old and appears to have been on the streets for some time, according to Battersea. He had no identification and was not microchipped.

"Larry is a great match, because he is a very sociable cat who enjoys attention and loves human contact," Kirsty Walker, head of Battersea's cat department, said. "I've cared for thousands of cats during my time at Battersea and I can definitely see Larry holding his own at Downing Street."

Asked why Larry was chosen over other cats at Battersea, Cameron spokesman Steve Field told Bloomberg News that the cat "showed a very strong predatory drive and enjoyed playing with toy mice," important qualities for a cat in Larry's new line of work.

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-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Larry looks out a window at Number 10 on Feb. 15. Credit: Mark Large / Reuters

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