Midnight. No sound from the sidewalk. Has the moon lost your memory? Not when I have anything to do with it.
Because I am here to remind you of a very special anniversary, my ten years in office during which I have served this country to the best of my ability. My name is Larry the Cat, but most of you know me by my official title – Chief Mouser To The Cabinet Office.
This week marks my decade of service in the gutters and sewers of Downing Street. That’s nearly 4,000 days and nights of looking for pests and cuffing rodents while vermin and parasites receive no mercy. Yes, my job description is little different from that of Chief Whip, whose job it is to discipline and sometimes even exterminate disobedient MPs.
During my time here, I have faithfully served three Prime Ministers – David Cameron, Theresa May, and Boris Johnson. I have connected with all of them in very different ways.
For example, there isn’t a corner of this building that I haven’t sat in for hours and cared for myself, just like David. There is hardly a sofa cushion or a tea towel that I have not torn apart in anger and frustration, just like Theresa. And there is no comfortable chair that I haven’t stretched out in, scratched my fluffy parts and slept away for many afternoons, just like Boris.
During my business trip in the corridors of power, I saw everything, I heard everything, I smelled everything.
I’ve seen great and powerful leaders come and go – from other countries, of course. Our lot is a complete shower, as you all know.
I understood that in life, like scratching posts, you have to take the rough with the smooth. One day you are the cat’s pajamas and the next day you are Nadine Dorries. And that’s not all I’ve learned. Ears up! Arched back! This is my story.
Dressed in patriotic red, white and blue for Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton
Hoist the flag for all of my furry friends
Some cats are thrown into space. Some left fortunes from little old ladies. And some cats are required to wear a Union Jack bow tie at moments of national importance.
You may think I look smart and good looking, but I felt humiliated. Oh, I’m definitely not the cat’s whiskers!
I remember it like it was yesterday. It was the day of Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton.
“I’ll make you an outfit, Larry!” exclaimed Mrs. Samantha. “Don’t you worry darling, I’m a clothing designer.”
I dreamed of a nice waistcoat, a top hat, maybe even a tailcoat! Instead, she ran a fly out of a paper napkin and taped it on with some tape. Oh the shame.
Larry the Cat on his way from Battersea Cats’ Home to his new home on Downing Street in 2011
I am the new top cat
There I was, running my own business at Battersea Cats’ Home in 2011 when the subpoena came – a five-bell alarm from Downing Street.
Urgently needed! A top cat dealing with an infestation in the heart of government.
At first I thought they meant Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne, but no. It was worse than that.
They were worried about real bugs, not just creepy Lib Dem crawlers. I pulled my claws out of my scabbard, slipped into my basket, jumped into the catmobile, and set off to meet my fate.
When my call came I was ready.
A prop to make him look more human ?: Larry snuggled comfortably with David Cameron
In the lap of power
“I was expecting you, Mr. Bond.” Here I am on David Cameron’s lap. A cozy scene.
Some people said that Prime Minister David didn’t really like me. That I was just a prop to make him look human. To give him that common note. So that he looks friendly and warm.
“What is this mangy creature doing here again?” he yelled once during a Cobra meeting.
But he wasn’t talking about me – he was talking about Chris Grayling. David and I have always got on well.
Larry remembered that he and Theresa May didn’t always agree when it came to fashion
You can’t go out like that!
Like all cats, I have poise and a natural sense of elegance, while Theresa May had none.
We had a lot of chats about it. “Theresa, old girl,” I would tell her, “you have to stop looking like something I dragged into.”
She promised to try. Still, I turn my back for five minutes and see what she would jump out the front door – I mean, this is not an outfit, it’s a cry for help.
A blazer with a built-in life jacket? Who is wearing this As you can see, I found it difficult to hide my disapproval.
Top marks for the flea collar – or should that be a necklace, as you humanoids say? Theresa needed something strong and sturdy to keep the pests at bay. The monster seemed to be doing the trick. At least for a while.
Larry had a front row seat when former US President Donald Trump visited in 2019
Trump’s £ 1.2 million armored sedan provided the ideal shady spot to watch the action
I am the big beast here …
Loitering. Who is this big ginger tom crossing on my patch in June 2019?
Prime Minister May told me to get out of the way, but there was no way I would miss this show.
The big boys always love me. Obama still sends me a chew every Christmas.
Somebody told me the beast was outside. Palmerston again!
I investigate, but it turns out to be President Trump’s armored sedan, worth £ 1.2 million.
Fun and games with Boris Johnson, who taught Larry the flip-flop and soft pedal
We’re both lost
Here I am helping Boris make important decisions. I’ve already learned a lot of things from him, most notably that “Flip-Flop” and “Soft Pedal” are not fun games to enjoy together, which is disappointing.
But I like Boris because he feeds me kittens and holds me tight when we hide in the closet to get away from his girlfriend.
“I’m scared of her,” he whispers in my ear. I feel the same.
“You were a stray before and you can be a stray again,” she called out to me recently. At least I think it was me.
Larry was once arrested for committing GBH on a pair of Theresa May’s leopard print shoes
Very strong on paw and order
Like all cats, I do my own thing. I take two bites of my lunch and walk away. I sharpen my claws where I’m damn fine.
But the only time I went too far was when I was arrested by the police for breaking GBH on a pair of Theresa May leopard print shoes.
Everything is fine, officer. I will come quietly.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock can’t resist patting Larry, even if it means breaking social distancing rules
Please sit down, Mr. Hancock!
I know that much. There should be a health warning against health secretaries.
I heard Andy Burnham was fine, but he always wanted to compare the lashes to the government cats to see which were the longest.
Andrew Lansley? The name rings. Jeremy Hunt was always good at hiding my medication in the salmon snacks.
But I don’t know what to think of this Matt Hancock guy. He cries or laughs hysterically or keeps asking me if I’ve already got my bump. Has it been dewormed? Something happened to him.
In 2012, Larry had an argument with Freya (right), who next door belonged to George Osborne
Larry wrestles with his archenemy Palmerston (left), the moult of the Foreign Office
Go up against a police sniffer named Bailey just before the 2015 general election
Here’s a taste of my south paw!
Political life is a long sparring game and it is no different for us cats.
In 2012 I had an argument with Freya, who next door belonged to George Osborne. Check out their country with a left uppercut!
My archenemy, however, is Palmerston, the Mauser of the Foreign Office. Black cats are supposed to be lucky, but he didn’t do anything for me. Still, we can form a coalition against a common enemy.
Like in 2015, shortly before the parliamentary elections. Here I am, snout to whiskers with a police sniffer dog named Bailey. I’m sending him to pack.
The Chief Mouser prepares to strike an unsuspecting victim who seems aware that the end is near
Looking for the Commons Mouse?
Alcohol units zero. Calories consumed 8,400 this week (vg, although would love something other than chicken, liver and fish). Mice caught in the past ten years; 745. Mice that have escaped; 19,582.
As Rishi Sunak always says, the statistics speak for themselves. So no. I’m not the best Mauser in the business. That is painfully clear. But I take inspiration from my first boss, David Cameron.
“Hug a hoodie, Larry,” he urged me once. And his caring manner rubbed off on me. That’s one reason I don’t particularly want to mug a mousie.
Look at her. You’re actually pretty cute. The other reason is that they are too fast for me.