“Chief mouser,” Larry the cat, can expect to keep his job and home at Downing Street when the British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves on Friday.
Since Larry moved in to Downing Street, he has become a familiar presence outside the prime minister’s residence.
Letting the cat out is a Downing Street routine for civil servants.
But this is not some ordinary cat. Larry, the tabby, has the official title of ‘Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office,’ a tradition dating back to the 16th century court of Henry VIII.
According to the British government’s website, Larry was recruited on February 5th, 2011 from an animal rescue home, for his mousing skills.
His main job was to solve a rodent crisis. Since Larry joined the Number 10 household, he has made a huge impact on this, earning him the official title of ‘Chief Mouser.’
The government website notes that Larry is the first cat at Number 10 to be granted the title.
A rescue cat from humble beginnings, Larry is now used to rubbing paws with presidents, politicians, passing police officers, and journalists stationed outside the front door.
He has welcomed numerous famous faces to his home, including the U.S. President Donald J. Trump and the First Lady Melania Trump this week.
The Chief Mouser caused a temporary stir outside 10 Downing Street for relaxing under President Trump’s limo, ‘the Beast,’ which means it could not be driven until Larry decided to leave.
— Larry the Cat (@Number10cat) June 4, 2019
The government website lists Larry’s daily responsibilities, as involving “inspecting security defenses and testing antique furniture for napping quality,” and managing the rodent issue at Downing Street.”
Larry has observed the arrivals and departures of cabinet ministers past and present. He saw former Prime Minister David Cameron and his family left Downing Street after the Brexit vote. He witnessed Prime Minister Theresa May’s battles to try and deliver Brexit.
On the day May delivered her emotional resignation speech, Larry was taken inside from one of his favorite spots—sitting in the sun in front of the front door.
“I will shortly leave the job that has been the honor of my life to hold—the second female prime minister but certainly not the last,” said May.
“I do so with no ill will but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love,” she added, her voice cracking at the end of the sentence.
Once a stray cat Larry’s diligence and resilience in his role has earned him a place in the hearts of the nation as Britain’s favorite cat. Everyday, Larry receives gifts and treats from the public.
Includes reporting from The Associated Press